Proposition 22, or the App Based Drivers as Contractors and Labor Policies Initiative will be on the November ballot.
A yes vote would make app based drivers independent contractors not employees. It would override AB 54 that was expanded in a California Supreme Court ruling that make companies prove employees are independent contractors, not just trying to avoid paying minimum wage, sick leave, overtime and benefits. This would only affect these employees.
Steve Smith with the California Labor Federation says companies like Uber and Lyft have put up big money to pass it, “The $180 million that Uber and Lyft are spending is the most any one campaign has spent in the history of the United States on a ballot measure,” adding this proposition offers not benefits for these drivers, “they’re going to be put in a situation where they’re treated less that any other worker in the State of California, they won’t have the same protections, they won’t have things like a minimum wage.”
Smith also says that will end up affecting many more for a long time to come, maybe permanently, “As this gig economy continues to expand we’re not just talking about the 7 or 800,000 workers that work in that economy right now we’re talking about the future because this initiative was written in such a way that this could never be changed.
To change the law it would never require voter approval but must have a nearly 90 percent vote in both chambers plus the governor’s signature.
Geoff Vetter with the Prop 22 campaign says studies show 70 percent of drivers want to be independent contractors because most work less than part time but those who work more will get benefits, “There’s a new minimum earnings guarantee of 120 percent of the local minimum wage plus 30 cents per mile toward compensation towards expenses in addition to that there’s new benefits under Prop 22 like healthcare and occupational accident insurance and protection against discrimination and sexual harassment,” adding if workers get sick they have more flexibility to change their schedules and hours to take days off.
Alfred Porshe drives for both Uber and Lyft but he says he likes the flexibility of being an independent contractor. He says the companies already offer benefits and give him personal protective equipment. He says companies want this law passed to benefit drivers. And while he admits he doesn’t know the ins and outs of the law he says if Prop 22 doesn’t pass he says he will become a private driver, “I will continue to drive, I will not drive as an employee.”
Smith says Prop 22 is not good for an economy that’s already bad, “And Uber and Lyft just want to make it worse with prop 22 to pad their own bottom line.
For more information on Prop 22 click here: PROP 22