This post was created in partnership with Yes on 22. All thoughts expressed here are our own.
There’s an important ballot measure coming up in the California state elections this November 3 that we support. A Yes on Proposition 22 vote supports members of our local gig economy – drivers for Uber, Lyft, Door Dash, Instacart and more. These independent workers should have the freedom to work for their money when, where and for how long they want without over-regulation and government interference that will make their jobs more difficult. Prop 22 will ensure that.
Our Family Depends on Drivers
As intrepid travelers, our family has been Uber addicts for many years now. We’ve depended on these polite and kind drivers to shepherd us to the farthest reaches, or just across town when we don’t choose to drive ourselves. Along with our reliance on food delivery services like Door Dash and Postmates, our family would be devastated without these services.
The whole reason why delivery and ride services work is because they are filling an important need in our lives. They are meant to make life easier by preserving our precious time. I don’t even know how many nights I have not had time to cook dinner, and we’ve ordered delivery from Door Dash or Postmates.
Without Prop 22, many of the drivers who bring us food or take us places, will no longer be able to work. On top of that, prices will go up for these services and in other areas the services will no longer be available.
What is This All About Anyway?
Last year, California state government enacted legislation called Assembly Bill 5 (AB5 – you might have heard of it.) The politicians who passed AB 5 were trying to make it illegal for app-based companies to keep their drivers as independent contractors and wanted app-based companies to force drivers to become employees. Polls show over and over that more than 70% of drivers want to be independent, not employees. Being an employee means a lot of extra requirements, set shifts and schedules, and less freedom for workers to set their own hours. It defeats the purpose of a gig economy and workers as independent contractors.
Proposition 22 replaces those antiquated rules while still protecting the drivers, their customers and the economy that relies on this better arrangement.
Right Now More Than Ever
During the times of COVID, these drivers have become even more important. We’ve trusted them to safely bring us food from our favorite restaurants when we don’t feel comfortable eating in the actual establishment. The State of California has been very strict about its policies for dining inside restaurants, and frankly, we’ve preferred to pass in most instances. Most others we know have done the same.
But that doesn’t mean we don’t want to eat our favorite dishes from places we love to frequent. On top of our own needs for delicious food that I DID NOT COOK (thank god!) we need to help keep these favorite restaurants in business. With so few patrons dining in person, most are relying on delivery services and drivers to pick up the food and bring it to the hungry masses.
Drivers are contributing to our economy in positive ways, because they are encouraging commerce to take place when it might not have happened otherwise. Restaurants rely on these drivers, and so do our hungry stay-at-home bellies. In fact, Door Dash just released a study about the company’s impact on local economies.
Drivers Positively Impact our Lives
Think about when COVID started and we all stayed home for weeks without venturing out. We relied on groceries and supplies delivered to our home by Instacart drivers. Even now our ventures out are limited, and delivery drivers are saving the day by bringing us what we need. According to a recent article in the San Jose Mercury News, there were about 1 million app-based food delivery and rideshare jobs in 2018.
Practical Advantages to Prop 22
Protecting the rights of drivers is the primary reason for voting Yes on Prop 22. But there are other reasons as well. New rules will be placed on the driver community to protect both them and us.
For example, Prop 22 includes:
- Automobile accident and liability coverage
- Guaranteed hourly earnings for drivers that are at least 120% of minimum wage plus compensation towards their expenses.
- Health care benefits for those working more than 15 hours per week
- Protection against discrimination and sexual harassment
Prop 22 Protects Us Too
As part of this measure, there are a whole host of protections to be enacted that protect riders and recipients of home delivery items too:
- Mandatory and continuous background checks of all drivers (we thought our drivers were fabulous, and now we know!)
- “Zero tolerance” policy that mandates prompt suspension of drivers – until further investigation – reasonably suspected to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Requires app-based companies to provide law enforcement a 24/7 method to aid in any investigations related to emergency situations or critical incidents
- Prohibits any drivers who have been convicted of a violent felony or hate crime
- Makes it a crime to impersonate an app-based driver
- Caps the number of hours a driver can work to avoid sleepy or distracted driving
The drivers themselves have made it clear. They support a yes vote on Prop 22 too — more than 100,000 California app-based drivers have signed up to join the Yes on 22 coalition..
Every Californian should have received their ballots by now. The election is so much in the news every day, and there is a great deal of attention focused on the Presidential election. The thing is, there are other important things on the ballot too. Please consider voting Yes on Prop 22 when you cast your ballot. And remember to vote early!