This week, Seattle’s city council passed an ordinance that will require Uber and Lyft to pay their drivers a minimum hourly wage of $16. Lyft has already pushed back at the new policy, claiming that it may force them to lay off 4,000 drivers in Seattle alone.
According to a report by Engadget, Seattle city council passed an ordinance that will require Uber and Lyft to pay their employees a minimum hourly wage. The law has already faced considerable pushback from Lyft, a company that has been heavily scrutinized over its treatment of its drivers.
The law requires ride-sharing companies to pay gig economy drivers at least $0.56 for each minute that a rider is in the driver’s car. If a driver spends half of each hour locating their next rider, that works out to approximately $16 per hour.
Ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft have been heavily scrutinized over their insistence on treating their employees as independent contractors. If drivers were treated as employees, gig economy companies would likely be required to offer benefits and other protections to drivers.
In a statement, Lyft said that the new ordinance is “deeply flawed” and warned that it may force Lyft to lay off 4,000 drivers in Seattle.
“The city’s plan is deeply flawed and will actually destroy jobs for thousands of people — as many as 4,000 drivers on Lyft alone — and drive ride-share companies out of Seattle,” a Lyft spokesperson told the NYT.
Breitbart News reported in September that Uber plans to defy a law adopted by California that designated gig economy workers as employees.
“We continue to believe drivers are properly classified as independent,” Tony West, the company’s chief legal officer said, “we’ll continue to be responsive to what the vast majority of drivers tell us they want most—flexibility.”
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