Why November 3rd Just Became Critical for Uber
Being forced to reclassify drivers in California could spell doom for Uber’s dreams of global domination.
On Thursday, a California appeals court unanimously ruled that Uber and Lyft must reclassify their drivers in the state as employees.
The companies have 30 days to comply with the decision, which is part of a pitched battle over the future of the gig economy in California and the latest in a long line of global developments that could renew longstanding concerns about Uber’s viability. It also makes November 3rd, the day when Californians will vote on a ballot initiative that would exempt gig economy companies from reclassifying their workers, even more of a critical moment for Uber, Lyft, and others such as Postmates and Instacart.
Lawsuits and labor backlash: Prop. 22’s cutthroat final days
Gig companies embark on a last-minute spending blitz after a court rules that drivers should be paid as employees and labor groups question campaign tactics.
With lawsuits and campaign misconduct allegations flying a week before the Nov. 3 election, it’s anything but a smooth home stretch for California’s $220 million battle over the future of gig work, Proposition 22.
Business-versus-labor battles over taxes, minimum wage and other regulations are already a staple of California’s ballot measure system, which allows voters to create and amend laws in a form of direct democracy that often breeds confusion. But Prop. 22 — a business-backed measure to exempt gig companies from state labor law AB 5and change how contract drivers get paid — has shattered spending records and unleashed new forms of digital campaign ads that tech companies are uniquely positioned to deliver to millions of workers and customers.
Prop. 22 Explained: Why Gig Companies Are Spending Huge Money on an Unprecedented Measure
The decision California voters face on Proposition 22 boils down to this: should a handful of companies be allowed to create a new gig contractor category for their workers that doesn’t include employee protections and benefits, like unemployment insurance and workers compensation? Or should companies like Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash have to follow state labor law and classify their drivers as employees, which could mean directing more revenue to workers, higher prices for consumers, and increased requirements for more casual drivers?
Uber and Lyft are pouring millions of dollars into Facebook ads to protect their business in California
With just over a week before the 2020 election, Uber and Lyftare sparing no expense trying to convince Facebook users in California to back them at the polls.
Yes on Prop 22, a group that wants gig economy companies in their home state to be able to keep classifying drivers as contractors, spent $3.7 million on Facebook ads in California in the past month, more than any other campaign, including for president, spent in the state over that stretch. If successful, the proposition would make ride-sharing and delivery companies exempt from a new law in California that forces companies to reclassify gig workers as employees, and to offer them benefits like paid sick leave and unemployment protection.
Uber and gig companies spend nearly $200 million to knock down an employment law they don’t like — and it might work
As November’s general election enters its home stretch, Uber, DoorDash and other gig economy companies are bombarding TV airwaves, social media and even their own apps with ads and marketing materials promoting a ballot initiative that they say would improve drivers’ financial situation and working conditions but that would also deny them the right to be classified as employees in California.
The ballot measure, known as Proposition 22, would establish drivers as an independent class of workers with access to limited job benefits, along with wage and worker protections they’ve so far lacked under the gig economy model. Labor groups and many of driver advocates say the companies’ efforts, however, do not go far enough to protect workers and are merely an attempt, cloaked in friendly marketing materials, to quash a new law that would guarantee drivers access to the minimum wage, employer-provided health care and bargaining rights.
In record-breaking $200 million fight to preserve the gig economy, messaging doesn’t always need money
If you live in California, Proposition 22 is impossible to ignore because of the work that gig companies have done to spread the word.
The most expensive ballot initiative in the state’s history is about to top $200 million in funding, mostly from gig-economy companies Uber Technologies Inc., Lyft Inc., Instacart, DoorDash Inc. and Postmates, which are seeking to exempt themselves from treating their workers as employees in accordance with state law.
What Uber’s narrative about job flexibility leaves out
A November ballot question in California known as Prop 22 will determine whether app-based delivery drivers in the state must be classified as employees or not.
The proposition would give Uber, Lyft, Instacart, DoorDash, and other app-based transportation companies an exemption from the new state labor law known as AB5, which makes it harder for California workers to be classified as independent contractors.
Uber and Lyft must reclassify drivers as employees, appeals court finds
In a blow to Uber and Lyft, a California appeals court said Thursday that the companies must reclassify their drivers as employees rather than independent contractors, affirming an earlier court decision.
The ruling marks a significant development in a months-long legal fight between the companies and the state of California, which in May sued Uber and Lyft and claimed they were in violation of state law. It also puts greater pressure on the companies to successfully pass their California ballot measure which seeks to exempt them from the law.
Appeals Court Says Uber and Lyft Must Treat California Drivers as Employees
New York Times
Uber and Lyft must treat their California drivers as employees, providing them with the benefits and wages they are entitled to under state labor law, a California appeals court ruled Thursday.
The decision points to growing agreement between the state courts and lawmakers that gig workers do not have the independence necessary for them to be considered contractors. But the California electorate will get to weigh in soon, too, when they vote in less than two weeks on a ballot initiative sponsored by gig economy start-ups to exempt themselves from the law.
OPINION – Prop. 22, Uber and Lyft’s Ballot Initiative, Hurts Black Workers, Other Workers Of Color
Post News Group
I’ve been a rideshare driver with Uber for over a year and I’ve witnessed firsthand how companies like Uber and Lyft have consistently exploited low-income drivers and drivers of color.
For years, Uber, Lyft and other companies have advertised the benefits of working for them, highlighting flexible hours, livable wages and more. Alongside those promises were images of Black and Brown people smiling at the thought of the future they were being promised.