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For immediate release: Aug. 31, 2020
Contact: Geoff Vetter, (916) 634-9051

In Case You Missed It: The Bakersfield Californian Endorses Prop 22

Urges Californians to Vote Yes to Protect Hundreds of Thousands of Jobs 

SACRAMENTO — Noting that the measure is intended to “protect thousands of California’s on-demand drivers, their customers, much-needed jobs and the state’s economy,” the Bakersfield Californian endorsed Proposition 22 this weekend.

Prop 22 is the November ballot measure supported by nearly 100,000 app-based drivers, as well as social justice, business community, and public safety groups. The editorial reads:

“…California’s labor market has changed. Many workers prefer the flexibility of being independent contractors – setting their own hours and supplementing their incomes with ‘freelance gigs.’”

“… [Proposition 22] sets standards for driver pay, benefits, training, etc.”

“Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said. “We know it reduces the number of people driving under the influence.”

“Carla Pearson, a victim specialist with Mothers Against Drunk Driving Kern County, told The Californian, “Our opinion is that Uber wants to save lives and if they do leave our community, there will be a huge impact.”

About Proposition 22

A major new study confirms an employment model would eliminate up to 900,000 app-based jobs, a reduction of between 80-90 percent of drivers currently driving today. These job losses will come at the worst possible time, when California is facing high unemployment and when app-based work opportunities will provide a lifeline for people to earn income. In addition, more than 71 percent of app-based drivers want to remain independent contractors, despite efforts by politicians to force them to become employees.

Proposition 22 would ensure driver flexibility, by protecting the ability of California’s one million app-based drivers to choose to work as independent contractors while providing new earning guarantees and benefits. These include:

  • Prop 22 improves the quality of app-based work by requiring app-based platforms to provide drivers:
    • Guaranteed minimum earnings (120% of California minimum wage), including compensation toward expenses
    • Funding for new health benefits for drivers who work at least 15 hours a week
    • Occupational accident insurance to cover injuries and illnesses on the job
    • Protection against discrimination and sexual harassment
  • Prop 22 implements strong new public safety protections:
    • Recurring background checks of drivers
    • Mandatory new safety courses for drivers
    • Zero tolerance for alcohol and drug offenses
    • Making it a crime to impersonate a driver

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Paid for by Yes on 22 – Save App-Based Jobs & Services: a coalition of on-demand drivers and platforms, small businesses, public safety and community organizations. Committee major funding from Uber Technologies, Lyft, and DoorDash.

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