WHAT WOULD PROPOSITION 22 DO?

Exempt gig companies like Uber and Lyft from a new state law requiring them to treat workers as employees.

Since January, state law has required former contract workers in many industries to be classified as employees and offered benefits such as overtime pay, health care, paid sick leave, unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation. If this measure passes, companies that employ drivers through apps — among them, Lyft, Uber, DoorDash and Instacart — would instead keep workers classified as contractors and be able to offer narrower benefits, including pay at least 120% of minimum wage, health care subsidies and accident insurance.

Benefits under Prop. 22 would be tied to drivers’ “engaged time” completing passenger routes, excluding any wait time on apps between rides. The measure also includes consumer safety changes such as more driver background checks and zero tolerance for drug or alcohol violations.

WHY AM I VOTING ON THIS?

Gig companies were a primary political target of the new law, but they’ve fought state and city attorneys over whether they should have to comply. A Superior Court Judge ruled in August that Uber and Lyft must immediately switch to treating drivers as employees. That prompted the app companies to threaten “hundreds of thousands” of job cuts and the suspension of operations in California until voters decide the fate of Prop. 22. A shutdown was averted by an appellate court ruling, but that could change before Election Day with more court dates on the horizon.

The stakes are high in this bitter dispute between business and labor. If this proposition passes, any amendments would require a 7/8 supermajority — a longshot in the Legislature.

*Via CalMatters.org*