Voters in California stemmed their state’s assault on independent contractors a bit by approving a referendum reasserting contractor status for those who work for ride share companies.
The referendum campaign had been mounted by Uber, Lyft and DoorDash after the state legislature last year passed a law virtually eliminating contractor status for a wide range of professions and occupations, including truck drivers.
However, the law was stayed by courts when it came to truck drivers while they hear legal challenges arguing that the state violated federal law by including truckers in interstate commerce.
The ride share drivers referendum requires:
Payments for the difference between a worker’s net earnings and a net earnings floor based on 120% of the minimum wage applied to a driver’s engaged time and 30 cents, adjusted for inflation after 2021, per engaged mile.
Drivers cannot work more than 12 hours during a 24-hour period, unless the driver has been logged off for an uninterrupted 6 hours.
Companies must provide monthly healthcare subsidies equal to 82% the California Covered (CC) premium for drivers who average at least 25 hours a week a quarter. Drivers averaging between 15 and 25 hours a week in a quarter get monthly healthcare subsidies equal to 41% the average CC premium.
In addition, the companies must provide healthcare subsidies for drivers who accumulate a minimum number of hours driving each quarter. In addition, drivers get occupational accident insurance and accidental death insurance
Also required are training programs about driving in traffic, accident avoidance and recognizing and reporting sexual assault and misconduct. Companies also must develop anti-discrimination and sexual harassment policies; zero-tolerance drug and alcohol policies; and are required to conduct criminal background checks for their drivers.