California Rideshare Bill

AB5 or Assembly Bill 5

California lawmakers passed a bill on September 10th, 2019, that would make it harder for ride-hailing and food delivery companies to classify their workers as independent contractors. The impact of the bill extends beyond app-based contractors.

The bill has the potential to change the employment status of more than one million low-wage workers in California, not just gig workers at companies like Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Postmates, and Instacart. It will make it more difficult for gig economy companies to prove that their workers are not staff, while ensuring key benefits and protections, like minimum wage, insurance, and sick days.

Rideshare drivers hailed the bill’s passage.

“I am so proud of rideshare drivers who took time out of their lives to share their stories, stand up, speak to legislators and hope they take a moment to bask in a victory,” said Rebecca Stack-Martinez, a driver and an organizer with the group Gig Workers Rising.

The law will apply across the California economy, but it could have particularly severe consequences for Uber and Lyft; both of which are currently based in California. Uber and Lyft both treat their drivers as independent contractors. Hours after the legislation, Uber and Lyft both confounded the law and vowed to seek changes. The ride-hailing companies, as well as Doordash, have also pledged $90 million on a ballot initiative for the 2020 election that would exempt them from AB5. The $90 million will be used to “hire the best campaign team and best advisors we possibly can to run a successful ballot initiative.”

Do you think these companies are spending $90 million to help you? They aren’t.

Working in the gig economy? Classified as an independent contractor (1099) employee? Your rights may be violated. Under the recent decision in Dynamex Operations West v. Superior Court, most gig economy workers are probably misclassified, losing out of thousands of dollars in unpaid wages.

(Damages Calculator for Misclassified “Gig Economy” Workers)

Contact a California Rideshare Attorney

Don’t wait! If you feel like you have an employment law issue or a class action lawsuit, contact us for a free phone consultation. Speak with an attorney, and let us help you figure out your best next steps. The sooner you have a plan of action, the better your chances of taking the correct steps to get the results you want. No fees will be charged unless we have a resolution in your payout.

Potter Handy, LLP serves clients throughout California, including Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, and San Francisco.

For a free class action case evaluation, please call our office (415) 534-1911 or email us.