Northern California Record

Thursday, February 20, 2020

NFIB gauging level of support for new ride-hailing initiative that seeks to amend AB 5

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By Rich Peters | Nov 18, 2019

Uber 1280

SACRAMENTO – A coalition of ride-hailing companies and supporters throughout the industry have submitted a ballot initiative to the California Secretary of State’s Office in an effort to amend Assembly Bill 5, a new law that will make it more complicated for companies to classify gig economy workers as contractors.

The Protect App-Based Drivers & Services Act initiative, headed by Uber, Lyft and Doordash, would provide promises of increased benefits for such workers who might otherwise be classified as employees under AB 5. The bill’s opponents have argued that the new law, which takes effect on Jan. 1, would lead to more labor litigation against businesses and less working flexibility for gig workers.

The leader of small business advocacy organization says its too early for it to take a stance on how the initiative would affect its members.

“We will be polling our members to gauge their level of support for this before we take an official stand,” said NFIB Small Business Legal Center California State Director John Kabateck. “Some might be opposed because it only includes transportation and delivery occupations and not all business-to-business occupations, which is what we wholeheartedly support. Others might be in support of the Uber, Lyft and DoorDash ballot initiative because they realize this is what the State Supreme Court’s Dynamex decision and Assembly Bill 5 created by making a hash of things.”

The proposed initiative reads: “Hundreds of thousands of Californians are choosing to work as independent contractors in the modern economy using app-based rideshare and delivery platforms to transport passengers and deliver food, groceries, and other goods as a means of earning income while maintaining the flexibility to decide when, where, and how they work. … Millions of California consumers and businesses, and our state’s economy as a whole, also benefit from the services of people who work as independent contractors using app-based rideshare and delivery platforms.”

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