Uber said he has no plans to reorganize his vast army of drivers into the category of employees in light of the bill passed yesterday in the California Senate on the rights of gig workers.
"We continue to believe that drivers are correctly ranked independent, and because we continue to respond to what the vast majority of drivers want us most – flexibility – drivers will not automatically qualify as employees even after January next year," states in a statement of the company.
State law 5 (AB5) is expected to disrupt the gig economy in its present form and to ensure that drivers and deliverers of companies such as Uber, Lyft and DoorDash are entitled to minimum wages and employee compensation. and other benefits.
Uber is pushing for its own proposal, which guarantees independent contractors an hourly wage of $ 21
The Carpool giant claimed that AB5 could not automatically force employees to reclassify drivers from independent contractors to employees.
"AB5 offers drivers neither benefits nor the right to organize. In fact, the bill does not say anything about rideshare at the moment, "said Tony West, Uber Chief Legal Officer. "What AB5 does is pretty straightforward: it adds a new legal test to the California Labor Code that needs to be used to determine whether a worker is being considered an independent contractor or a worker."
West argues that AB5 does not do this It is right to turn any driver into an employee, as the bill ensures that gig-economy workers are entitled to benefits simply by applying the so-called ABC test.
In order to determine if someone is an independent contractor, it is stated in the test must be able to demonstrate that – (A) the employee is free of control and instruction from the hiring agent (eg Uber), (B) outside the company (C) Employment relationship "Independently established trade, profession or business of the same nature as the work done."
We are not exempt from AB5 and we do not argue that it is us. AB5 is not required to reclassify drivers from independent contractors to employees. The full context can be found here: https://t.co/BXQ7vEhrkR[19659002)-Uncomms(@Uber_Comms) September 11, 2019
In other words, the contractor must be self-employed and in business for himself West said that Uber could pass the ABC test, citing previous rulings that "the work of drivers outside of Uber's normal business lies".
But it remains to be seen if this would still be the case given the fact that driving around people in cars is indeed a crucial part of their business.
If the company does not pass the test – which means its drivers are not contractors – it may need to impose restrictions to prevent drivers from working for other carpools.
Although Uber is open to compromise, it also pursues a number of other legal and policy options to reverse AB5 – including financing a nationwide election initiative in 2020 in collaboration with Lyft and other gig-economy marketplaces, the drivers Uber – and other players such as Lyft, DoorDash, Instacart and Postmates – have long argued that they retain the flexibility of their on-demand work Are just technology platforms. However, it goes without saying that the new rules would have a significant impact on their signing.
The move will have other implications, as companies' operating costs are likely to increase even further.
For its part, Lyft has already begun sending e-mails to drivers suggesting that they "may soon be driving certain shifts, sticking to specific areas and driving only for a single platform (like Lyft, Uber, Doordash or others).
By classifying drivers as independent service providers instead of employees, companies such as Uber had to pay no benefits, overtime or minimum wages to tens of thousands of drivers. As independent contractors, they also have no legal right to form unions or negotiate contracts.
AB5 aims to change the entire model, increasing the financial pressure on companies that are already struggling to become profitable.
"At Uber, we face the challenge of improving the work for the drivers," said Uber. "But we will continue to defend our ability to deliver demand-driven, independent work."