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Prop 22: Carve Out Would Exempt App-Based Rideshare, Delivery Companies From Parts Of California’s Gig Worker Law




Rideshare drivers show up at Los Angeles City Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019 to call for a higher minimum pay, Oct. 15, 2019.
Rideshare drivers show up at Los Angeles City Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019 to call for a higher minimum pay, Oct. 15, 2019.
David Wagner/KPCC

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If you thought the fight over whether rideshare and delivery drivers who work for app-based platforms like Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and Postmates was over when the California legislature passed AB 5, the controversial labor law designed to provide employee classification and protections to the gig workers who drive for those platforms, think again.

Proposition 22 will be on the November ballot and California voters will be tasked with deciding whether to pass the measure, which would exempt companies including Uber, Lyft, Postmates, DoorDash, and Instacart from having to classify their workers as employees. If passed, the companies would be able to keep drivers on with independent contractor status while offering them certain benefits like 120 percent of minimum wage, insurance against car accidents and subsidized health care options. Those benefits would be linked to drivers’ “engaged time” meaning the time they are actively spending completing rides or deliveries as opposed to sitting and waiting for them. Supporters argue that voting “yes” on the proposition will allow drivers to keep the schedule flexibility that draws a lot of people to work for these platforms while improving the benefits to which they have access.

They say that it will also prevent the cost of the services from skyrocketing like they would if the companies were forced to classify drivers as employees. Opponents say voters can look to the amount of money the companies are spending on this measure as an indicator of who really benefits from Prop 22, and that the uncertainty of federal government benefits during the pandemic is exactly why gig workers need the protections like unemployment insurance and paid sick leave that AB 5 offers.

Today on AirTalk, we’ll hear arguments for and against Proposition 22. If you’re a driver for one of the major app-based platforms that offer gig work, how would Prop 22 impact the way you work for your service? Join the live conversation by calling 866-893-5722.

Guests:

David Cruz, president of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Council #3288, which focuses on business and economic development; LULAC is the largest and oldest Hispanic civil rights organization in the U.S. and is part of the coalition of organizations that make up the “Yes on 22” campaign

Steve Smith, spokesman for the “No on 22” campaign and communications director for the California Labor Federation, an association of some 1,200 unions in the state based in Oakland