For immediate release: Mar. 19, 2020
Contact: Stacey Wells, (866) 450-2648
Statement from Protect App-Based Drivers & Services Coalition in Response to COVID-19
SACRAMENTO, CA — The following statement can be attributed to Stacey Wells, campaign spokesperson for the Protect App-Based Drivers & Services Act:
“App-based delivery and rideshare are being deemed essential services by mayors and governors around the country during this time of public emergency, helping neighbors and the most vulnerable among us get food, groceries, medicine and other necessities.
“The ongoing effort to force rideshare and delivery drivers to become employees, which drivers do not want by a 4:1 margin, will not lead to new benefits. Instead, it would lead to the widespread elimination of work for hundreds of thousands of Californians, jeopardizing these essential services at a time when millions are counting on them.
“Because of the flexible nature of app-based services, more than 80 percent of on-demand drivers use these platforms to supplement their primary forms of income. They report having other regular or part time work, are self-employed, retired, or pursuing other priorities – all of which prevent commitment to the demands of full-time employment. The vast majority of app-based drivers choose this work precisely because it’s unlike traditional employment, and the access to flexible, intermittent and mostly part-time schedules, often across multiple platforms, is absolutely necessary. The ballot initiative supported by more than 55,000 drivers would improve this work without ruining what makes the work valued to hundreds of thousands of Californians.
App-based rideshare and delivery platforms are playing an essential role in this time of emergency by connecting people with vital services and goods. The platforms are working with elected officials at all levels of government and nonprofits across the country, while also safely facilitating options for meals to low-income students as schools are closed; coordinating the delivery of medicine, wellness supplies, food and groceries to seniors, low-income families and home-bound individuals; supporting restaurants that are being asked to close their dining rooms; and arranging rides to medical appointments and essential obligations.
The platforms themselves have each individually announced sick leave assistance policies to assist drivers impacted financially if they are diagnosed with COVID-19 or put under quarantine by a public health official. And they are working with federal and state government officials on proposals to provide additional assistance for the millions of workers affected by the crisis, both employees and independent contractors.
The Protect App-Based Drivers & Services ballot measure contains new protections and benefits for app-based drivers that don’t exist today to assist with health care expenses and to insure against illnesses and injuries incurred while performing app-based rideshare and delivery services, including:
- New health care contributions to pay for health benefits. Drivers start earning a benefit at just 15 hours a week, and at 25 hours a week the contribution is equal to 100 percent of the average employer payment toward a Covered California Plan, or $367 per month on average. This health care benefit is more generous than state and federal law and will cover preventative care as well as medical expenses.
- Occupational accident insurance (similar to workers comp insurance). This covers illnesses and injuries incurred while providing services with app-based platforms, including payment for medical expenses and disability payments for time a driver is unable to work.
- The ballot measure also includes other wage and benefit guarantees, including always earning at least an amount equal to 120 percent of minimum wage plus 30 cents per mile compensation toward expenses, with the potential to earn more and no limits on how much drivers can make.