(Reuters) - Uber Technologies Inc (UBER.N) and Lyft Inc (LYFT.O) are preparing to suspend their ride-hailing services in California beginning on Friday morning unless an appeals court rules at the last minute they cannot be forced to treat their drivers as employees, rather than independent contractors.

Lyft in a blog post on Thursday said it would suspend its California operations at midnight.

Uber in a blogpost said it would have to temporarily shut down unless the appeals court intervenes.

Lyft shares dropped 6.2% to $26.41, while Uber shares were down 2.3% to $28.74.

The companies have sought the intervention of an appeals court to block an injunction order issued by a judge last week. That ruling forced the companies to treat their drivers as employees starting Thursday after midnight, but Uber and Lyft have said it would take them months to implement the mandate.

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