Hundreds of Uber and Lyft drivers gather in San Francisco for worker protection

Hundreds of Uber and Lyft drivers gathered in San Francisco on Tuesday to support a bill that would make it harder for companies to classify employees as independent contractors. The rally, which took place outside of Uber's headquarters on Market Street, was organized by a group called Gig Workers Rising, supported in part by labor giant SEIU.


The invoice in question, AB5, is a result of a decision by the California Supreme Court of May 2018 in favor of employees for a document delivery company called Dynamex Operations West seeking employment status. The delivery service drivers first brought their case over ten years ago and argued that they had to wear the uniform of the company and show the logo, while offering their own vehicles and bearing all costs for deliveries . The decision is seen as potentially huge consequences for companies such as Uber and Lyft, who classify their drivers as independent contractors.

The sponsors of the bill say they want to stop the misclassification of employees. AB5 would oblige companies to use a legal standard called "the ABC test" when determining employment status:

A): The employee is "free from control and direction" of the company that hired them while they perform their work.

(B): The employee performs work that falls "outside the normal course of business or the type of business of the hiring entity."

(C): The employee has his own independent business or trade outside the job for which he was hired.

If it is hired, it can make Uber and Lyft responsible for traditional working conditions, such as paid sick leave, unemployment insurance and compensation for employees. The companies that make trips, meanwhile prefer less radical measures, such as so-called portable benefits that drivers can take from work to work. The companies claim to have the & # 39; flexibility & # 39; want to retain drivers to set their own hours and work for multiple platforms.

The bill approved the California State Assembly in May 2019. It is now up to the Senate Credits to determine the financial costs of the legislation before it is submitted to the full Senate for vote. California Gov. Gavin Newsom have yet to say if he would sign it, leaving the future of the bill in question.

The rally attracted hundreds of drivers, as well as a presidential candidate for 2020: South Bend, Mayor of Indiana, Pete Buttigieg. "I'm here because where I'm from," gig "is another word for" work, "said Buttigieg in a video tweeted by Gig Workers Rising. "They say these technology companies are the future of the American workforce. I think that's right. So do we want a future in which there may be no protection, no union and employees are not treated as employees? Or do we want a future with justice? & # 39;

Buttigieg offers a great line to show support for protesting drivers, but also to hire top managers at the companies that employ them. In May he led a fundraising in Oakland, co-organized by Uber executor Chelsea Kohler, the director of the product communication company, according to The Daily Beast.


Other 2020 candidates have also approved the bill, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT).