California votes to exempt Uber and Lyft from classifying drivers as employees

California votes to exempt Uber and Lyft from classifying drivers as employees




Representatives from the gig industry have been advocating that workers deserve to be classified as full-time employees, rather than independent contractors, by companies like Uber, Lyft, GrubHub, and DoorDash. Standoffs between the two sides have been especially contentious on the coasts, both in New York City and San Francisco, where many of the rideshare companies are headquartered. Rideshare drivers and workers across California refused to back down even as Uber, Lyft and DoorDash plowed a record $200 million into a deceitful campaign to strip workers of the essential protections they need now more than ever. The end of this campaign is only the beginning in the fight to ensure gig workers are provided fair wages, sick pay and care when they’re hurt at work. The California legislature classified gig workers as employees in September 2019 as part of Assembly Bill 5 (AB5). It determined that rideshare drivers like those employed by Uber and Lyft qualified as employees under California law and were therefore entitled to the same protections as employees. However, in August of 2020, the Superior Court of San Francisco found that Uber and Lyft were operating in violation of AB5 by continuing to misclassify workers as contractors in spite of the new law.Proposition 22 creates a carve-out from AB5, permanently classifying app-based drivers as independent contractors rather than full employees. However, it did put into place some worker protections like healthcare subsidies and insurance policy plans. It also mandates background checks and anti-discrimination training for workers, while enforcing a zero tolerance policy for driving under the influence.However, those are all far from the benefits a full employee would receive, like overtime, sick leave and expense reimbursements. Moreover, any changes would require a seven eighths supermajority, meaning that 87.5 percent of the California legislature would need to sign on to any future changes or adjustments to this law — something that’s highly unlikely to occur.Despite the setback, the drivers and labor organizations are determined to fight back. “Rideshare drivers and workers across California refused to back down even as Uber, Lyft and DoorDash plowed a record $200 million into a deceitful campaign to strip workers of the essential protections they need now more than ever,” the California Labor Federation’s Art Pulaski told the LA Times. “The end of this campaign is only the beginning in the fight to ensure gig workers are provided fair wages, sick pay and care when they’re hurt at work.”


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Representatives from the gig industry have been advocating that workers deserve to be classified as full-time employees, rather than independent contractors, by companies like Uber, Lyft, GrubHub, and DoorDash. Standoffs between the two sides have been especially contentious on the coasts, both in New York City and San Francisco, where many of the ...Read More