For immediate release: May. 5, 2020
Contact: Stacey Wells, (866) 450-2648
App-Based Drivers Express Serious Concern that Lawsuit Could Shut Down Delivery and Rideshare Services and Jobs When Families and Workers are Struggling
Legal Action Threatens to Eliminate Rideshare and Delivery Services at the Worst Possible Time
SACRAMENTO – Today, members of the Protect App-Based Drivers & Services coalition expressed significant concern after the state and three city attorneys announced a lawsuit that seeks to take away the choice that app-based drivers make to work as independent contractors. If successful, this lawsuit would force more Californians out of work and eliminate access to these essential services when millions are relying on them.
“I’m making the choice to work rideshare because it fits my life, and taking away my ability to choose to work as an independent contractor threatens the income that I rely on,” said Jack Kinney, a rideshare driver from Los Angeles who arranges his schedule to spend more time with his grandchildren. “The vast majority of drivers are like me. This underscores the need to pass our November ballot measure that would keep drivers independent and provide historic new benefits.”
The coalition represents more than 55,000 app-based drivers as well as public safety, social justice, business and community organizations. The coalition said this lawsuit is further evidence of the need to pass the November ballot measure that would protect the rights of the nearly one million Californians who are choosing to work as independent contractors with app-based platforms. The ballot measure also provides new benefits and protections for drivers.
“Tens of thousands of Californians have been able to pick up extra income doing delivery during the pandemic to supplement lost work and lost income,” said Dave Thomasson, a professional musician from Covina who also drives rideshare. “These jobs will continue to be vital as our economy is in crisis. This legal action could eliminate independent contractor work and income that many of us desperately need right now, hurting vulnerable Californians at the worst possible time. Fortunately, voters will have the final say in November.”
“Millions of seniors and families are sheltering in place, and app-based delivery drivers have been a literal lifeline delivering groceries, food, medicine and other essentials,” said Modesto resident Jim Pyatt, a part-time rideshare driver who is now delivering food and supplies to families who are staying home. “This is the worst possible time to pursue this action that could shut down these services when millions desperately need them.”
“With our economy in turmoil, tens of thousands of Californians have been able to make ends meet by downloading an app and starting to drive to pick up extra income immediately,” said Cora Mandapat, mother of three from South San Francisco who needs the flexibility to take care of her family. “Today’s action underscores more than ever why we need our ballot measure passed in November to protect these essential services and jobs.”
“During this crisis, I’ve delivered meals to seniors who live on their own who otherwise would be in really bad shape without app-based delivery,” said Alfred Porche, III, a Riverside County resident who switched from driving rideshare to delivery when the pandemic hit. “This action could shut down delivery services and hurt millions of seniors and other vulnerable populations who will be sheltering in place for a while.”
To date, more than 55,000 app-based drivers have signed up in favor of the Protect App-Based Drivers & Services Act, a statewide ballot measure aimed for the November ballot that will protect the right of all app-based drivers to continue to earn income as independent contractors while providing new earning guarantees and benefits. The coalition of supporters also includes public safety organizations, social justice advocates, business and community leaders.
The ballot measure would also add new public safety protections, like recurring background checks, while protecting the availability and affordability of app-based rideshare and food delivery services in California. These services keep impaired drivers off the roads, improve mobility for seniors, the disabled and families without a vehicle and help small businesses such as restaurants and grocers reach millions of new customers.