SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — If approved, California’s Proposition 22 would consider app-based drivers independent contractors as opposed to employees.
Last year, state lawmakers approved Assembly Bill 5, which gave drivers employee status mandating companies such as Uber and Lyft provide benefits and other perks.
Since it’s passage, both companies mounted a signature-gathering campaign clearing the way for Prop. 22 to be on the November 2020 ballot.
“It’s one of the most widely talked about propositions on the ballot,” said Wendy Patrick, political analyst and insider in Southern California. “It’s also about drivers wanting to operate outside government interference and especially in pandemic times, drivers want to be flexible want to accommodate other things that are going on in their lives, and they don’t want to be tied to a particular employee schedule.
If approved prop. 22, it will supersede AB 5.
The ballot initiative would define app-based drivers as workers who either provide delivery services through an on-demand basis via a business’s online-enabled application or use a personal vehicle to provide prearranged transportation services for compensation with a business’s online-enabled application or platform. Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash are examples.
AB 5 supporters say it was necessary as a way to protect drivers, guaranteeing them a minimum level of compensation and health-care coverage.
“The other side of the argument recognizes that if they were to be recognized as employees, they would get minimum wage or higher, compensation for automobile expenses, access to accident insurance, they would have other types of benefits they don’t have now,” said Patrick.
Uber and Lyft have reportedly sank almost $200 million to back Prop. 22.
Opponents of the measure include major labor unions like the AFL-CIO and SEIU. They say drivers deserve the protections offered by full employee status.