Immediate Release
May 14, 2020

Lydia Olson


Olson v. State of California 

No. 20-55267
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Independent Women’s Law Center (IWLC) filed an amicus brief on Thursday in support of Lydia Olson in the case of Olson v. California

Olson drives for Uber while caring for her husband, who suffers from multiple sclerosis. She is challenging the constitutionality of California’s AB5 law, which forces companies to reclassify many independent contractors as employees. 

Olson is asking the Court of Appeals to reverse the District Court’s denial of her request for a preliminary injunction. The preliminary injunction would return California labor law to the pre-2020 status quo during the pendency of Olson’s case.  

In its brief, IWLC argues that AB5 irreparably harms certain freelance workers, many of them women for whom such work provides the flexibility to earn income while caring for children, aging parents, or sick relatives. That harm is especially severe in light of the novel coronavirus pandemic, when the ability to balance work with caring for loved ones is at an all-time premium.

IWLC is particularly concerned that AB5’s exemptions for certain categories of workers and not others rewards those with powerful lobbying organizations and unreasonably and arbitrarily burdens those who do not have enough influence to obtain a statutory carve out.

Jennifer C. Braceras, director of Independent Women’s Law Center, issued the following statement: 

“Now more than ever—with sweeping unemployment, schools closed, and a statewide stay-at-home-order in effect—California workers need the flexibility and independence that freelancing offers.” 

IWLC urges the Court of Appeals to enjoin AB5 while the District Court considers the merits of the case.

Read the full brief HERE.


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Independent Women’s Law Center advocates for equal opportunity, individual liberty, and respect for the American constitutional order.