For immediate release: May. 22, 2020
Contact: Stacey Wells, (866) 450-2648
In face of looming threats that would eliminate 900,000 app-based jobs, CA ballot measure qualifies to protect app-based drivers and services
Sacramento, CA – The Protect App-Based Drivers & Services coalition, a growing group of tens of thousands of app-based drivers, public safety organizations, social justice advocates, business and community leaders, announce qualification of the landmark proposition protecting the choice of one million app-based drivers to earn income as independent contractors while providing new earning guarantees and benefits.
The Secretary of State issued a press release Friday evening announcing qualification of the Protect App-Based Drivers & Services Act.
Supporters of the ballot measure yesterday announced the launch of a statewide television and digital voter education campaign. Students, parents and other Californians featured in the ads discuss the importance of independent app-based work for them and for the 1 million Californians who choose to drive rideshare or food and grocery delivery. They also denounce efforts by elected politicians that would eliminate 900,000 app-based jobs and essential app-based services in the middle of an economic crisis.
A recent study found that taking away the ability of app-based drivers to work as independent contractors — instead forcing them into an incompatible and inflexible employment model — would eliminate up to 900,000 app-based jobs, a reduction of between 80-90% 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.
“One million California app-based rideshare and delivery jobs are under attack by state politicians,” said Dave Thomasson, a professional musician from Covina who also drives rideshare. “Their laws threaten to eliminate these jobs and take away our ability to choose independent work. This ballot measure will protect this critical work that’s being threatened by out-of-touch politicians.”
“App-based delivery drivers and services are essential to deliver warm meals, medicine and groceries to families and seniors forced to shelter in place. This ballot measure is needed to ensure these essential services continue to exist, and so rideshare and delivery drivers can meet the needs of our communities,” said Jim Pyatt, who is semi-retired and switched from rideshare to delivery driving to help during the COVID-19 outbreak.
A recent independent poll showed more than 71 percent of app-based drivers want to remain independent contractors, despite efforts by politicians to force them to become employees.
“With more than 4 million Californians out of work, app-based rideshare and delivery jobs are more important than ever. Passing this ballot measure is needed to protect on-demand jobs for Californians,” said Patricia Mulholland, a disabled Vietnam veteran who began delivering part time in the Bay Area to care for an elderly family member. “It will mean more money and new benefits for drivers, while retaining our flexibility to drive when, where and for whatever platform we want. This is exactly what we need in today’s economy.”
The Protect App-Based Drivers & Services Act adds strong new public safety protections, like recurring background checks, safety training, and protection against discrimination and sexual harassment.
“The California Police Chiefs Association supports this ballot measure because it protects public safety by preserving the rideshare services that keep drunk drivers off our roads. The measure requires app-based driver background checks and safety trainings that make our roadways safer for drivers, passengers and the public,” said Police Chief Eric Nunez, City of Los Alamitos and President of the California Police Chiefs Association.
“The California State Sheriffs Association supports this ballot measure because it ensures rideshare services will continue to be available when they’re needed most, reducing the likelihood that drunk and impaired drivers will get behind the wheel,” said Sheriff David Robinson, Kings County and 1st Vice President of the California State Sheriffs’ Association. “Provisions like mandatory safety training, 24-hour access to law enforcement to coordinate in emergencies, and recurring background checks will further improve the safety of these services that millions of Californians rely on every day.”
Julian Canete, President and CEO of the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce said: “App-based delivery services have provided a lifeline for minority-owned restaurants, grocers and other small businesses to connect with new customers in order to stay afloat during these difficult times. But without this ballot measure, these services are at risk. Small and minority businesses throughout the state are supporting this measure because it protects small businesses, critical jobs, and our economic recovery.”
“App-based driving platforms have enabled many out of work Californians to make up lost income immediately, particularly in communities of color and disadvantaged communities that have been disproportionally impacted by this crisis,” said Dr. Tecoy Porter, President of the Sacramento Chapter of the National Action Network, a leading nationwide civil rights organization. “But app-based driving is under threat. That’s why we need this ballot measure to pass, to end the uncertainty and make sure people maintain the ability to earn money on their terms, when their schedules allow, even after this pandemic has passed.”
Background – the Protect App-Based Drivers & Services Act would:
- Protect the ability of app-based drivers to remain independent contractors.
- Require new minimum earning and benefit guarantees, including:
- A guaranteed earning of at least an amount equal to 120 percent of minimum wage plus 30 cents per mile compensation toward expenses;
- A new health care contribution;
- Occupational accident insurance to protect against injuries and illnesses on the job.
- Implement new customer and public safety protections, including:
- Recurring background checks of drivers
- Mandatory safety training of drivers
- Zero tolerance for alcohol and drug offenses
- A cap on driver hours per day to prevent sleepy driving