Lyft driver and passenger
A Lyft driver and passenger. Courtesy Lyft

A group representing Doordash, Lyft and Uber announced Tuesday they plan to file a ballot measure to carve out their drivers from the recently passed Assembly Bill 5, which requires most independent contractors to become shift employees.

The proposed measure would provide drivers a minimum earnings guarantee with expense reimbursement, a healthcare subsidy, and insurance to cover on-the-job injuries, while still permitting them to work as  independent contractors.

“This ballot measure is going to be a win-win,” said Jermaine Brown, a Sacramento rideshare driver who works with both Uber and Lyft. “Not only do drivers get to keep our flexible schedules, but we also get new benefits like healthcare and more earnings potential.”

“I’m a stay at home dad. I do things with my kids during the day and drive in the evening,” he added. “Being able to have that flexibility and being able to drive how I want to drive really helps me and my family.”

The coalition behind the Protect App-Based Drivers & Services Act seeks to get the measure on the November 2020 presidential election ballot. The companies earlier committed to spend $90 million on the effort.

The proposed ballot measure is narrowly written to cover drivers delivering people or packages, adding those carve outs to approximately 40 occupations such as barbers, podiatrists and repo men. It will not remove the AB 5 restrictions from nearly 1,000 other common jobs in California.

Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez, who authored AB 5, criticized the new ballot measure in a tweet as inadequate for the three companies’ gig economy workers.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.