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Report: Uber Drafts Bill to Create New Classification for Drivers

Wednesday, September 11, 2019 | 396 | 0 | 19 min read

Uber has reportedly crafted a potential bill that would create a new worker classification for gig-economy drivers and serve as an alternative to Assembly Bill 5 in the California Legislature.

Under the proposal, drivers working through ride-hailing platforms, and delivery drivers, would be classified as a new type of worker, called network drivers, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. While the bill would make clear that the drivers are not employees, it would guarantee pay of at least 1.27 times the minimum wage.

Companies would contribute 4% of minimum wage for each hour worked to a benefits fund for drivers, which would provide occupational accident insurance or workers’ comp coverage, according to the report.

Drivers would be represented by a new Driver Advocate Program on issues including safety, wages and benefits.

The proposal was reportedly drafted by legislative counsel at the request of an unnamed Democratic lawmaker. No lawmakers had yet offered to carry the bill, and its prospects were viewed as dim, as the legislative session ends on Friday.

But the proposal could lay the groundwork for a 2020 ballot initiative that Uber, Lyft and DoorDash have pledged to back if AB 5 passes. 

AB 5, by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, would codify the 2018 state Supreme Court decision in Dynamex by applying a three-part test to determine if a worker is an employee or an independent contractor.

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