Uber, Lyft Drivers Breathe Sigh Of Relief Following Appellate Decision Affirming Prop 22
Rideshare drivers tell the Globe that Prop 22 is vital for drivers in the industry
By Evan Symon, March 14, 2023 6:23 pm
A day after the California First District Court of Appeals ruled that rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft could continue to classify employees as independent contractors, the majority of rideshare drivers across the state continued to breathe a sigh of relief as work flexibility and the ease of being able to get a job in a tough economy was affirmed to them.
According to the ruling, which validated the 2020 Proposition 22 vote, and invalidated Assembly Bill 5, signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom, rideshare companies can continue to have their drivers classified as independent contractors instead of employees. While the ruling did give a small concession to labor unions to allow drivers to unionize and collectively bargain, it also protected one of the largest gig and app-based industries in the state.
A huge loss for Newsom. The appeals court has upheld voters' reversal of AB 5 for rideshare drivers, allowing them to continue operating independently.
— Kevin Kiley (@KevinKileyCA) March 15, 2023
“There were so many of us worried about this,” Lynda Choi, a rideshare driver in San Francisco, told the Globe on Tuesday. “You know, prices would have gone up, a lot of us probably would have stopped doing it, and it would have really screwed up my life, as I need worktime flexibility because I need to drive my Mom and Grandma everywhere. And, this is something that is never brought up by those people, a lot of people who depend on rideshare drivers for important things would have likely been severely affected.”
“You see, a lot of rideshare drivers fill in for important duties. A lot of people who can’t afford a $1,000-plus ambulance ride to the hospital call us instead for $30. Same goes for people who can’t drive or walk well and either have no insurance or bad insurance. If Prop. 22 didn’t pass, there would have been fewer drivers and higher fees for them. And, because drivers would have been limited on hours, that means it would be impossible to get a ride at any time. Sure, there are taxis, but they are more expensive too in general. We’re the affordable option for many.”
“Same goes for driving to school. Some parents here opt to get one of use to drive their kids to or from school. You know, these parents work, and some kids have a problem with the bus. ‘ve driven kids who have had issues with bullying or medical issues that made riding the bus difficult. We’re a lifeline to families. And the people who tried to take down Prop 22 don’t understand that.”
Affecting drivers across the state
For many drivers, it also affected their personal life.
“Flexibility on when to work is huge,” added Uber and Lyft driver and driver online forum coordinator Mike Chapek to the Globe. “I mean, we hear this a lot, but few really know just how diverse it gets. In LA, rideshare driving as has replaced being a waiter as the go-to career for people aspiring to be in the entertainment industry. Auditions and small jobs can come at any time, and if you are at a regular job, that means taking time off or risking being fired to pursue your dream. With these rideshare jobs, you can clock off whenever.”
“Some people also take care of kids and parents. Few jobs let you time it perfectly when, say you need to pick up or drop off kids at school or bring someone to a regular doctors visit. Even more, some have loved ones who require to go to the doctor a lot, or need constant rides for errands since they can’t drive. You can never predict when some of these needs come up, so driving for Uber or Lyft becomes a job that allows you to do that.”
“You had people like (AB 5 author and former Assemblywoman Lorena) Gonzalez who made some of these laws and couldn’t understand why many people that the law would be ‘helping’ absolutely hated it. This is why. You change the classification for this industry, you screw over a lot of people. Parents who need that flexibility, people working a second job who needed one that could do odd hours, college students needing to get a job that fit their school schedule, and so many more.”
“Everyone is worried now that the unions will try and appeal this. Right now people are happy, but we also just want this to be over for good.”
The SEIU is currently deciding on whether or not to appeal the ruling. If they do, the suit would be brought to the California Supreme Court.
“We will consider all those options as we decide how to ensure we continue fighting for these workers,” said Tia Orr, executive director of SEIU California, on Monday.
2 thoughts on “Uber, Lyft Drivers Breathe Sigh Of Relief Following Appellate Decision Affirming Prop 22”
Let’s put the legislators on notice that AB5 was bad for those who live and work in California and worse for job seekers potentially coming into California. Maybe AB5 can be struck down in the next election?
Of course the union, SEIU, is too stupid to realize they’re not “helping” because they’re greedy, micro-managing control freaks, just like the tyrannical state government.