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Uber And Lyft Push Back Against California Bill That Would Make Drivers Employees




Rideshare drivers for Uber and Lyft stage a strike and protest over what they say are unfair wages in Los Angeles, California
Rideshare drivers for Uber and Lyft stage a strike and protest over what they say are unfair wages in Los Angeles, California
MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

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Ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft say they are willing to change the way they treat drivers in California as long as state lawmakers don’t require them to classify drivers as employees, a move that would entitle them to a wide range of benefits.

The California-based tech firms face state legislation that would strictly limit how businesses can label workers as independent contractors.

While some other industries have negotiated exceptions under the proposal, it’s unclear if leading Democratic lawmakers will be open to a deal with the companies amid mounting scrutiny of labor practices in the burgeoning gig economy.

The legislative clash shaping up this year over the rights of independent contractors follows a state Supreme Court decision last year that put a question mark over the way businesses classify many employees.

Supporters of the legislation argue that it is key to protecting access to fundamental benefits, such as workers compensation and unemployment insurance.

With files from the Associated Press.

Guests:

Carolyn Said, San Francisco Chronicle reporter covering business, tech and the on-demand economy; she tweets @CSaid

Paul Oyer, professor of economics at Stanford University; he tweets @pauloyer

Arun Sundararajan, professor of entrepreneurship and technology at New York University (NYU) and author of the book , “The Sharing Economy” (MIT Press, 2016); he tweets @digitalarun