- "Tens of thousands" of app-based drivers and others in California are hoping to secure an exemption to AB-5 — a new classification law in the state — via a ballot measure, the group said in a Jan. 8 statement.
- AB-5 threatens such workers' ability to work as independent contractors, according to the coalition, which is backed by Uber, Lyft and DoorDash. To protect that option, the drivers are working with small businesses, public safety leaders, community groups and on-demand rideshare and food delivery platforms to collect enough signatures to earn a ballot measure that would make some changes.
- The measure would allow app-based drivers to work as independent contractors if certain criteria are met, such as control over their own hours. It also would require companies to offer new protections and benefits for independent drivers, including a healthcare stipend, and public safety protections, such as recurring background checks.
California's new classification law took effect Jan. 1 and generally considers a worker to be an employee unless he or she meets several criteria.
The legislation is considered worker-friendly, but has drawn challenges from both businesses and individuals who say they prefer to work as independent contractors. Stakeholders in the trucking industry were able to secure a quick win in their judicial challenge, but others, including a freelance journalist group, were unsuccessful.
Uber, Postmates and two individuals also filed suit, alleging "AB 5 is an irrational and unconstitutional statute designed to target and stifle workers and companies in the on-demand economy." The individuals said they choose "to work as independent service providers in the modern app-based on-demand economy as a means of earning a substantial or supplementary income while maintaining the right to decide when, where, and how they work."
In September 2019, delivery app DoorDash and ridesharing platforms Uber and Lyft put up $90 million to oppose AB-5. In a public statement at the time, Max Rettig, DoorDash head of public policy, said, "Achieving a legislative solution is our top priority, but should the legislature fail to act, we will be left with no choice but to pursue a ballot initiative."