Dave Lee in San Francisco
Californians will not only cast their ballot for president on Tuesday but will also be asked to make a choice pivotal to the future of the so-called gig economy.
Proposition 22 seeks to exempt these app-based groups from California employment law, and is backed by more than $200m from a coaltion of Uber, Lyft, Doordash and others, making it by far the most expensive ballot measure race in the state’s history.
Passing the Prop 22 vote will mean the companies will be allowed to continue classifying their drivers as independent contractors rather than employees, avoiding benefits such as minimum wage, sick pay and healthcare.
Prop 22 would instead put in place a limited number of benefits based on how many hours have been worked: a driver putting in more than 15 hours a week driving for Uber would start to build up a stipend that could be used to pay for healthcare coverage, for example, or paid time off.
They would receive an “earnings guarantee” of 120 per cent the local minimum hourly wage, though how that is calculated is one of the many bones of contention in this debate.
Uber doesn’t count the time