SACRAMENTO, Calif., Jan. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- This week a broad coalition of tens of thousands of app-based drivers, small businesses, public safety leaders, community groups and on-demand rideshare and food delivery platforms will start signature gathering efforts to qualify the Protect App-Based Drivers & Services Act for the November 2020 California statewide ballot. The campaign, which is supported by more than 27,000 drivers and growing, expects to collect well in excess of the 623,212 valid signatures required to qualify the measure.
The measure would protect drivers' ability to continue to work as independent contractors with flexibility over when, where and how long they work – while providing drivers with new earning guarantees and historic benefits for on demand workers. The measure is needed to protect the availability and affordability of app-based rideshare and food delivery that millions of Californians rely on every day.
"I work fulltime as a cook at a homeless shelter and drive rideshare when it's convenient for me. This ballot measure would protect my ability to make this extra income I need on my terms," said Lorraine Hanks, a Lyft driver who lives in San Francisco. "Recent legislation could threaten this flexible way to earn money by forcing me to become an employee – which doesn't work for me. I'm excited to sign the petition, spread the word to all my passengers and do whatever I can to make sure we pass this in November."
Los Angeles driver Jack Kinney said: "Passing the ballot measure is very important to me. I need flexibility so I can prioritize the things that matter most to me: caring for my wife who is a cancer survivor and spending time with my six grandchildren. No other work allows me to earn money whenever I want, work as long as I want and take days – or even weeks – off when I need to. We're ready to go to take our issue to the voters and are confident they'll pass it."
In addition to the flexibility app-based rideshare and delivery services provide for drivers, these services also reduce impaired and drunk driving, improve mobility for seniors and the disabled, and provide new transportation options for families who cannot afford a vehicle. These services also provide convenient and affordable restaurant and grocery delivery services that help connect consumers and small businesses.
"Fathers Against Drunk Driving strongly supports this ballot measure because it will keep rideshare services affordable and accessible," said Robert Ybarra, founder, Fathers Against Drunk Driving. "One thing we know for certain is that on-demand rideshare services help take impaired drivers off our roads and protect public safety. Without this ballot measure, we risk disrupting the on-demand rideshare model – where sober drivers are available for people when and where they need a ride at a moment's notice, especially late at night when they're most needed."
The campaign is committed to qualifying this measure for the November ballot and is confident the voters will approve this measure to protect app-based drivers and services.
BACKGROUND App-based drivers choose to work as independent contractors for the flexibility it provides to earn supplemental income when, where and for how long they want. Many turn to app-based platforms because traditional employment doesn't fit the needs and realities of their daily lives, including parents who want to work flexible schedules while children are in school; students who want to earn money part-time; retirees looking to supplement fixed incomes or for social interaction; and families struggling with California's high cost of living who need extra income.
Last year, the state Legislature passed a law that could threaten the freedom of Californians to earn income on app-based rideshare and delivery network platforms.
If passed by voters in November, the ballot measure would protect the right of app-based drivers to work as independent contractors if certain criteria are met, such as having control over their own hours and when, where, how long they work, and the ability to work on multiple platforms. It would also require rideshare and delivery network companies to offer new protections and benefits for independent drivers, including:
Historic new benefits and protections, including a minimum earning guarantee equal to 120 percent of the minimum wage plus $.30 per-mile toward expenses. Using this formula the minimum pay guarantee works out to approximately $21 per engaged hour in gross pay. This is the minimum drivers would earn and they will still have the potential to always earn more with no limit on how much they can earn.
A health care stipend that covers 82 percent of the cost of a Covered California Plan, or $367 per month to a driver on average. Drivers start earning this stipend at 15 hours per week and reach the full stipend at 25 hours per week. Drivers can earn multiple stipends from multiple companies.
The health care stipend in the ballot measure is more generous than state and federal law which only requires health care be provided to those who work more than 30 hours per week and no benefits for part time workers.
Occupational accident coverage to cover on-the-job injuries – similar to workers compensation insurance.
Enhanced auto and liability insurance
The measure would also provide new customer and public safety protections, including:
Recurring background checks of drivers.
Mandatory safety training of drivers.
Zero tolerance for alcohol and drug offenses.
A cap on driver hours per day to prevent sleepy driving.
Paid for by Protect App-Based Drivers and Services, a coalition of on-demand drivers and network companies, small businesses, community groups and public safety organizations. Committee Major Funding from Uber Technologies, Lyft, and DoorDash.