Uber, Lyft Are Against the Bill Making Their Drivers Employees

  • Jessie Thomas
  • 2019-28-Aug

Have you heard about the issues connected with ride-hail drivers in California? We are talking about the outrageous bill concerning Uber and Lyft drivers who are going to be considered as employees. In fact, the legislative initiative is the result of complaints of those drivers as to their wages and status. But now it turns out to be not as beneficial as it seems.

The reaction of Uber and Lyft is a decisive protest. Both companies were aware of the problem and have done a little to cope with it. After the drivers took action in public across the state, Uber and Lyft launched online petitions. Since Wednesday it is widely circulating, and people start to join them in defeating that undesired Bill 5 as it has been known before becoming the law.

Let’s Consider The Issue

It all started with the fact that the ride-hail drivers using the cars of the above companies formed a union to stand upon their rights. Now they make calls requiring a higher salary and other benefits to drivers with such a status. The point is that they are classified as independent contractors and work without health insurance, Social Security, paid sick days, and more. Of course, such terms look like exploitation.

In response to their requirements, Uber and Lyft offered to pay their drivers $21-an-hour exactly when they were driving, provide sick leave, and even give them a collective voice. These conditions allow drivers to work on their own terms and at the same time, continue ridesharing. Though, such an offer is not accepted by drivers because $21 per hour on a trip is not a large sum. The hourly wage would exclude the time when drivers wait for a passenger. And then, as independent contractors, drivers are not able to cover their consumption of gas, car maintenance and repairs at the company’s expense.

Regardless of the perturbation, until now the drivers have been considered as independent contractors, but State senators in California were offered Assembly Bill 5 to vote, which forced Uber and Lyft to treat workers as employees properly and to increase driver pay and benefits.

Consequences

The experts say that the bill can pass with a high level of probability. And the result will hardly be as they want it to be. If the law comes into effect, ride-hail drivers will be classified as employees. But the employers will definitely have to reduce the staff due to high responsibilities threatening the business in the whole, and that means thousands of drivers will stay without work and without access to ridesharing.

Uber and Lyft insist that their business models are based on the idea of independent contractors. Thus, they are going to strike a deal on the Bill 5, but if they fail, they take the issue to California voters. On the contrary, those who support Bill 5 hold protests in support of this bill gathering in front of Uber’s headquarters. Uber and Lyft continue to struggle by posting their petitions online and emailing them to over a million of its riders.

What It boils Down to

California businesses are nervous about this controversial bill. They ask to consider some particular amendments to it and offer a list of exemptions. But we should not forget that Bill 5 is a part of a bellwether for the coming presidential race, as far as democratic representatives endorsed it, and that can be much more serious than a confrontation between an employer and employees. We keep watching over the events and suggest you express your opinions in the comments below.

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