Under Proposition 22 on the November ballot, app-based transportation and delivery companies would be exempted from providing employee benefits to thousands of California drivers by classifying them as independent contractors.
Ride-sharing and delivery companies, including Lyft, Uber, and DoorDash, paid millions of dollars to put Prop 22 on the ballot. Their lawyers wrote this misleading initiative, and the companies paid political operatives to collect voter signatures to put it on the ballot.
How does Prop 22 hurt drivers?
Between 800,000 and 950,000 Californians provide rides or make deliveries for these companies every year. Drivers have the flexibility to work when and where they want but use their own cars and cover those costs.
Drivers can work full-time or part-time, and make, on average, $11 to $16 per hour. If Prop 22 is approved, these companies can reclassify drivers as independent contractors, thereby denying employees basic protections. Their only goal is maximizing profits.
Like every other business under current California employment laws, Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash must pay drivers at least minimum wage, and provide benefits, such as healthcare, paid sick leave, unemployment, and workers’ compensation coverage.
In May, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra sued these companies for violating the state’s AB5 law, which went into effect on Jan. 1 of this year. The law determines whether a worker can be classified as a contractor or an employee.
Prop 22 contains deceptive wording
The proposition is filled with misleading language to convince voters that approving the measure will strengthen driver rights and protections. In reality, Uber and Lyft must currently conduct background checks while the new provisions would actually eliminate sexual harassment training already in place.
Plus, Uber and Lyft would no longer be required to investigate customer and driver claims over sexual harassment. Instead, these protections are replaced with a reduced “earnings guarantee” and a “healthcare subsidy,” which would save the companies money. Furthermore, Prop 22 prevents cities and counties from setting and enforcing local rules, such as establishing a higher minimum wage.
COVID-19 places drivers at greater risk
The ballot measure comes at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is still raging out of control, and these companies continue to put their drivers in jeopardy by refusing to implement adequate safety measures.
A recent New York Times editorial stated Uber, Lyft, and others do not have consistent policies providing sufficient numbers of masks or social distancing guidelines. Meantime, they push their drivers to fulfill the demand for increased food delivery orders.
Prop 22 targets workers of color
Ride-sharing and food deliveries have proven to be essential services during the pandemic, and nearly four out of five drivers are people of color. App-based drivers from the Black, Latinx or other communities deserve better as their efforts have been vital to all of us living through the pandemic. Just like everyone else, app-based drivers should have access to sick leave, healthcare and unemployment benefits.
Reality contradicts proponents’ claims
Don’t allow Uber, Lyft, and other companies to deceive you. They claim this measure would benefit part-time drivers by giving them greater flexibility. However, current laws in no way limit driver schedules. Additionally, a University of California study found that 70% of Uber and Lyft drivers work 30 hours per week or more, making them full-time employees. These companies are only concerned about the flexibility to increase their profits. Vote “NO” on Proposition 22.