Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash have unveiled a new ballot measure intended to fight the recently passed California law that will re-classify gig economy workers as employees, potentially devastating their business models which rely on armies of drivers who are treated as contract workers.
The companies, which have promised to spend $90 million to combat the law, are hoping that their new measure will exempt them from California’s Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), which was signed into law in September and would entitle independent contractors to perks, including sick time, a minimum wage, and overtime.
Introduced on Tuesday, the Protect App-Based Drivers & Services Act offers concessions, including a guarantee that drivers would make 20 percent more than the minimum wage while working, and a reimbursement of 30 cents per mile for expenses like fuel and wear and tear.
Drivers will also be able to earn a healthcare stipend after working 15 hours a week.
The Protect App-Based Drivers & Services Act will protect worker flexibility, require new wage & benefit guarantees, implement new customer & public safety protections & protect access to rideshare & delivery services. Learn more: https://t.co/CXyMwzZ0rT #DriverFlexibility
— Protect App-Based Drivers & Services (@CAForDriverFlex) October 29, 2019
While these concessions would improve the financial condition of gig drivers, they don’t provide for all of the perks expected to take effect under the new California law.
The counter-measure is being funded by Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash, which have argued that their business models give individuals the flexibility to work when they want to.
“Recent legislation has threatened to take away the flexible work opportunities of hundreds of thousands of Californians,” the new measure reads.
The California law could force many drivers to work more rigid hours, “taking away their ability to make their own decisions about the jobs they take and the hours they work.”
Uber has publicly stated that it won’t comply with California’s new law when it is expected to take effect early next year.
The ridesharing company’s top attorney said in a lengthy statement in September that Uber is exempt from the law’s requirements because drivers’ work falls “outside the usual course of Uber’s business,” which it sees as providing a technology platform.
The Protect App-Based Drivers & Services Act is expected to appear as a referendum next November on California’s 2020 ballot.