California Voters Declare Gig Economy Drivers Are Independent Contractors

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier

In a reversal of fortune for gig economy workers in California, voters in that state said ‘yes’ to Proposition 22,  which classifies app-based transportation and delivery drivers as independent contractors.  Proposition 22 was put on the ballot in response to a California law, AB5, which required gig companies like Uber and Lyft to treat drivers as employees and provide them protections like unemployment insurance, healthcare, breaks,  and other protections required for California employees.  In Tuesday’s election, 58% of voters in California supported the passage of Prop. 22 that will exempt gig employers like Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash from AB5. 

Even though the gig worker classification has changed, gig employers Uber and Lyft, face a pending law suit for the months between the passage of Assembly Bill 5 and the certification of the election results where California Attorney General claimed those companies failed to comply with Assembly Bill 5 by not classifying their drivers as employees.

For gig companies like Uber and Lyft, their next goal is to continue the replicate the success of the passage of Proposition 22 into other states.  State regulators will be look for help from Congress to create federal legislation to force gig companies to hire their drivers as employees and afford those workers the protections of an employee versus independent contractor.

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