CA Voters Side with Uber, Denying Drivers Benefits, Classifying Them as Contractors

Labor News

Reprinted from The Washington Post by Faiz Siddiqui and Nitasha Tiku on November 4, 2020.

Californians have determined the future of ride-hailing and delivery apps, with 58 percent voting that drivers should be classified as independent contractors, rather than employees, according to results early Wednesday.

The state ballot measure, Proposition 22, will make drivers independent contractors according to California law. That would supersede a new law known as AB 5 intended to grant drivers full employment, including minimum wage protections, health care and such benefits as unemployment and sick leave.

The Washington Post projected early Wednesday the measure would pass. The result means the gig companies defeated legislation to make drivers employees after running a record-spending $200 million campaign to deny workers employment. Shares of Uber and Lyft surged as the stock market opened, jumping at least 15 and 18 percent, respectively, as it became clear the companies’ fears about the costs and business impacts of a potential employment model would not be realized. …

Washington Post 11/4

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Jeff Burman served on the Guild’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2019. He is now retired. He can be reached at