Watch “Prop 22 in a Minute: App-Based Contractors” to understand what a yes or no vote on this proposition means. Click the CC button for Spanish subtitles.
App-based companies such as Uber, Lyft and DoorDash would be allowed to maintain drivers as independent contractors, giving them some but not all of the rights that employees have under state labor laws.
The ride-hailing and delivery services want to be exempt from last year’s state law that required them to classify their drivers as employees.
Define app-based drivers as independent contractors with their own distinct labor and wage policies.
Allow existing state laws such as last year’s Assembly Bill 5 to determine whether app-based drivers are employees or independent contractors.
A California Supreme Court ruling and a subsequent state law known as AB5 undermined the low-cost business model of companies relying on gig workers. Uber and Lyft in particular have been fighting AB5 in court and have poured tens of millions of dollars into this ballot initiative.
The app-based companies say they properly classified their drivers as independent contractors because they are not traditional employees and can decide when, where and how they work. While some of the drivers are happy with the flexibility, others have protested being cut out of state-law protections afforded employees, including minimum wage, overtime, unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation. Prop. 22 partly addresses those concerns by providing some benefits: minimum compensation and health care subsidies based on engaged driving time, vehicle insurance, safety training, and sexual harassment policies.
Proponents say Prop. 22 will protect services that have many benefits to California and its economy, such as giving seniors and disabled people convenient transportation and deliveries, reducing impaired driving, and providing income to hundreds of thousands of people who need flexible hours. The ballot measure also addresses consumer safety concerns by criminalizing impersonation of app-based drivers and requiring background checks.
The California Labor Federation opposes Prop. 22 as an attempt by big tech companies to avoid providing basic protections to their workers and to shift the burden to taxpayers. Opponents say the ballot measure’s promise of adequate compensation for workers is misleading because it does not include wait-time. It also would create one statewide standard, preventing local ordinances from adding worker protections.
Get Ready to Vote
Nov. 3 may feel far away now, but don’t forget to take the necessary steps to make sure you get to cast your vote! Here are some key details to remember:
- Register to vote online by or have your mail-in registration postmarked by Oct. 19. If you somehow miss the deadline, all is not lost. You can still conditionally register up to Election Day itself. Not sure what your registration status is? Find out here.
- Because of COVID-19, California is mailing all active registered voters mail-in ballots this year, so you don’t need to request one.
- Mailed ballots should be postmarked on or before Nov. 3 and received by your county’s elections office no later than Nov. 20. Scared your ballot is going to get lost in the mail? Don’t fret, the California Secretary of State has a ballot tracking tool so you can get notified of the status of your vote-by-mail ballot via email, text or call. Sign up here.
- If you want to deliver your ballot in person on Election day, make sure you do so by the time the polls close on Nov. 3.