*****Disclaimer: This is not legal advice and is for educational purposes only. This does not create an attorney-client privilege.
We are in another election year and it is (nearly past) time to start considering not only who you want to vote for as president and to represent you regionally, but also to start doing your research on the measures on the California State Ballot this year. Or alternatively, you can follow this series of blog posts to get a summary of what's at stake with each measure, who is in support of and opposed to it, and a progressive's guide on checking No or Yes.
Proposition 22 is the next up on our ballot series! We are sure that you have heard of this proposition before, because Uber, Lyft and other ride share apps have spent millions of dollars campaigning to get this measure passed (if that isn't the first sign that this measure isn't actually good for rideshare drivers...). Essentially, Proposition 22 is a measure to exempt app-based delivery and transportation companies from needing to provide employee benefits to certain drivers. It is an initiative statute; these apps proposed it, petitioned for it, and poured a ton of money into this measure, because they know it will save them even more, on the backs of their employees, if it passes.
If passed, app-based drivers would be classified as “independent contractors”, instead of “employees”. As independent contractors, they would not receive benefits and would be ‘provided other compensation, unless certain criteria are met’. The fiscal impact of this on the state would be minor increases in the state income taxes paid by rideshare and delivery drivers and investors.
These corporations want you to believe that a vote for yes on this measure would be better for their drivers. It is true that if passed that drivers would have the ability to “decide when, where, and how much to work”, but this would be at the expense of benefits and protections that businesses must provide employees. Most Uber drivers are driving regularly and even as their full time or primary occupation; they need benefits more than they do flexibility of scheduling.
A NO on Prop 22 would mean you are helping protect hardworking app drivers, who deserve the benefits and protections afforded to other company employees. Uber, Lyft and other companies tried to write a bill exempting themselves from California Laws designed to protect workers and hold employers accountable and make them be fair. They spent millions campaigning for it. I myself remember being approached to sign a petition for it in Santa Monica months ago. They are pushing misleading information and implying riders want this. Who would want less protections and benefits?
A vote for NO would mean you are helping enable people to access the benefits and protections they deserve, and that these companies are spending millions of dollars on a proposition to try and circumvent. If you care about protecting hardworking people from corporate greed that does not serve the greater good, then you should vote NO on Prop 22!