(Reuters) — Uber would be forced to shut down its ride-hailing operations in California if a court ruling that blocks it from classifying its drivers as independent contractors goes into effect, the company said in a court filing.

A California judge on Monday granted the state’s request for a preliminary injunction blocking Uber and rival Lyft from classifying their drivers as independent contractors rather than employees.

Several hundred thousand “gig” workers, including many at ride-hailing companies and app-based food delivery services, are affected by the law known as Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), which took effect on January 1.

The shutdown would irreparably harm Uber and the people who rely on its rides operations to generate income, the company said in its court filing on Tuesday.

“If the court doesn’t reconsider, then in California it’s hard to believe we’ll be able to switch our model to full-time employment quickly,” CEO Dara Khosrowshahi was quoted by CNBC as saying on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru, editing by Maju Samuel.)


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