Drivers urge passage of November ballot measure to protect their independence and add historic benefits
Sacramento, CA – Drivers with the Protect App-Based Drivers & Services coalition expressed outrage today after learning that the state Attorney General plans to file a preliminary injunction asking a judge to force app-based drivers to be employees.
This action claims to help drivers, yet drivers by a 4:1 margin have repeatedly said they prefer the flexibility that comes with being an independent contractor. These lawsuits threaten to eliminate 900,000 jobs and undermine the availability of rideshare and delivery services that are increasingly relied upon by millions of Californians.
Californians who drive using app-based rideshare platforms are available for media interviews to discuss their frustration with the litigation and support for the ballot measure that would protect their ability to choose independent work.
Rideshare drivers issued the following statements today:
Jim Pyatt, Modesto, semi-retired from newspaper operations
“I’m furious that out-of-touch politicians think they know what’s best for me and other drivers. They don’t have a clue what drivers — or California voters — want. We want to remain independent contractors. We need flexibility and we don’t want to be employees, that’s why more than 75,000 drivers now actively support the November ballot measure to protect our flexibility and independence. We want the voters to decide this issue.”
Al Porche III, Menifee, Army veteran
“It’s outrageous that politicians are seeking to shut down hundreds of thousands of app-based jobs in the middle of a recession. Their actions also threaten food and grocery delivery services at a time when millions of seniors, families and others rely on these deliveries to minimize their risk during the pandemic.”
Jimmy Strano, San Francisco, disc jockey and event planner who cannot work a regular shift due to neuropathy and fibromyalgia
“I’m fed up with these shenanigans by out-of-touch elected officials who think they know best. I’m disabled and rideshare is the only thing I can do to earn enough income to live. Passage of AB 5, and now these repeated lawsuits, would eliminate up to 900,000 flexible, app-based jobs for Californians, and could ruin the rideshare and delivery services millions rely on. That’s why I support our ballot measure: let the voters decide.”
Patricia Mulholland, Sonoma, retired and a disabled Vietnam veteran
“These politicians are hurting us, the drivers, the very people they claim they are trying to protect. I need independence and flexibility to drive on my own schedule so I can get to medical appointments and still earn income. That’s why I am one of the more than 75,000 drivers who have signed up to actively support the ballot measure. We’re taking our case to the voters since the politicians won’t listen to us.”
Stacey Wells, campaign spokesperson
“This is yet another malicious legal action against drivers that underscores exactly why we’re pursuing the ballot measure. It is baffling that anyone would seek to end this critical work, threatening 900,000 jobs, especially now. Most drivers do so part-time – 80 percent drive fewer than 20 hours a week and most drive less than 10. Drivers by a 4:1 margin want to remain independent. They’re overwhelmingly doing this to supplement income around other jobs and life responsibilities and wouldn’t be able to work as employees. We need to protect the ability of app-based drivers to choose independent work, while also providing new benefits and protections for drivers and consumers. That’s why we’re full steam ahead with our ballot measure and we’re confident voters will support it.”
A recent study by the Berkeley Research Group found that taking away the ability of app-based drivers to work as independent contractors – instead forcing them into an incompatible and inflexible employment model – would eliminate up to 900,000 app-based jobs, a reduction of between 80-90 percent of the more than 1 million drivers who use these apps to earn extra income every year. These job losses will come at the worst possible time, when California is facing high unemployment, as app-based work opportunities continue to provide a lifeline for people to earn income.
The Attorney General’s action takes place one day before the ballot measure is expected to receive official confirmation from the Secretary of State that the Protect App-Based Drivers & Services Act will go forward and appear before voters on the November ballot.
The Protect App-Based Drivers & Services Act will ensure driver flexibility, by protecting the ability of California’s one million app-based drivers to choose to work as independent contractors while providing new earning guarantees and benefits. These include:
- Improving the quality of app-based work by requiring app-based platforms to provide drivers:
- Guaranteed minimum earnings
- 30 cents per mile compensation toward expenses
- Funding for new health benefits for drivers who work at least 15 hours a week
- Occupational accident insurance to cover injuries and illnesses on the job
- Protection against discrimination and sexual harassment
- Implementing strong new public safety protections:
- Recurring background checks of drivers
- Mandatory new safety courses for drivers
- Zero tolerance for alcohol and drug offenses
- Making it a crime to impersonate a driver