SAN DIEGO — Rideshare drivers across California came together Monday to hold rallies in several cities, including San Diego, urging Governor Gavin Newsom to not sign a bill into law that would turn them into employees.
This week, the California State Legislature will vote on Assembly Bill 5, a bill that would force rideshare drivers, among others, to give up their independent contractor status and become employees.
AB5 would significantly narrow the definition of an independent contractor in California. It's based on a California supreme court ruling established in the case of Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles. The ruling found that hiring firms must apply a standard commonly referred to as the "ABC" test, which says a worker is "properly considered" an independent contractor to whom certain wage and hour regulations don't apply only if:
(A) that the worker is free from the control and direction of the hirer in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for the performance of such work and in fact;
(B) that the worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity's business;
(C) that the worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as the work performed for the hiring entity.
If any part of this test is not met, the worker is considered an employee, entitled to meal and rest breaks and other rights under the applicable wage order.
Drivers held news conferences at three locations in California, including the State Capitol, Los Angeles and San Diego. Following their events, the rideshare drivers went to their legislator’s district offices to demonstrate what they say will happen without a fix to Dynamex, including a recent find by Beacon Economics that over 300,000 Lyft drivers alone will be out of work.
The newly released Beacon Economics report examines three scenarios, all resulting in a significant reduction in work opportunities for drivers if they are forced to become employees. According to the report, passengers will in turn see significantly longer waits and higher costs. In rural and suburban communities, passengers may lose rideshare service altogether due to the lack of drivers.
The report includes the number of drivers who would be out of work in each Senate and Assembly district
- 6,461 rideshare drivers out of work in AD 80 (Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher, author of AB 5)
- 5,120 rideshare drivers out of work in AD 63 (Speaker Anthony Rendon)
- 9,751 rideshare drivers out of work in SD 39 (Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins)
- 12,159 rideshare drivers out of work in SD 18 (Senate Majority Leader Bob Hertzberg)
- 4,180 rideshare drivers out of work in AD 57 (Assembly Majority Floor Leader Ian Calderon)
Rideshare drivers recently held rallies across the state, as well, in support of becoming employees.