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App-Based Drivers on the Ballot: A Closer Look at Prop 22

Californians are voting on a number of propositions that deal with a wide variety of issues this election season. Here’s a closer look at Proposition 22, which deals with app-based drivers (Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, etc.). This is a summary of information taken from the official California voters guide and the website Ballotpedia.

Prop 22: Exempts App-Based Transportation and Delivery Companies from Providing Employee Benefits to Certain Drivers

Proposition 22 would consider app-based drivers to be independent contractors and not employees or agents. The ballot measure would override Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), signed in September 2019, which required these companies to classify their workers as “employees” and thus make them protected by State labor laws, including a minimum wage, healthcare, paid sick leave, unemployment, and workers’ compensation coverage.

Proposition 22 would enact labor and wage policies that are determined by the app-based companies.

Arguments in Favor

Sacramento politicians recently passed legislation that threatens to eliminate the ability of Californians to choose work as independent contractors providing app-based rideshare, food and grocery delivery services.

These drivers have other jobs, family obligations, or health issues and need flexibility to continue this work and supplemental income to support their families.

Prop 22 protects the choice of app-based drivers to work as independent contractors.

Prop 22 improves app-based work by requiring companies to provide new benefits, including guaranteed minimum earnings, funding for health benefits, medical and disability coverage for on-the-job injuries, and additional protections against harassment and discrimination.

Prop 22 preserves delivery services that millions now rely on to bring groceries, medications and warm meals to homes, and rideshare that improves mobility.

Arguments Against

Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash paid to put Proposition 22 on the November ballot. They hired lawyers to write this misleading initiative and paid political operatives millions to collect the voter signatures needed.

Why? To create a special exemption for themselves that will legally deny their drivers’ basic rights and protections at work such as paid sick leave, workers’ compensation, and unemployment benefits.

Prop 22 only applies to Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, and other app-based delivery and transportation companies. Their goal is profit. Only these companies would profit from this special exemption.

Current law requires Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash to provide their drivers with a minimum wage, healthcare, paid sick leave, unemployment, and workers’ compensation coverage, just like every other California business.

Prop 22 creates a special exemption that eliminates basic workplace benefits and replaces them with new lower “earnings guarantee” and “healthcare subsidy” payments designed to save the companies money.

Prop 22 is all about money. It’s not about helping the drivers you meet if you use these apps.

Groups supporting Prop 22 include:

• Republican Party of California

• Uber

• Lyft

• DoorDash

• Instacart

• Postmates

• California Chamber of Commerce

Top donors to “Yes on 22”:

Through September 23, 2020, Yes on Proposition 22 received $184.3 million, which is the most funds that an initiative campaign has ever received in California history. Its top donors are:

• Uber ($50,107,335)

• Lyft ($48,324,788)

• DoorDash ($47,669,558)

• InstaCart ($27,600,959)

• Postmates ($10,638,250)

Groups opposed to Prop 22 include:

• California Democratic Party

• California Labor Federation

• California Teachers Association

• SEIU California State Council

• Transport Workers Union of America

• United Food and Commercial Workers Western States Council

Top donors to “No on 22”:

The campaign “No on Prop 22” has received $10.7 million. Top donors include:

• International Brotherhood of Teamsters ($1,500,000)

• SEIU-UHW West ($1,000,000)

• Service Employees International Union ($1,000,000)

• United Food & Commercial Workers Local 770 ($1,000,000)

• United Food & Commercial Workers Western States Issues PAC ($750,000)