A group representing drivers for services such as Lyft and Uber Tuesday applauded the Los Angeles City Council’s support of a state bill that would make it more difficult for employers to classify their workers as independent contractors.
Members of Rideshare Drivers United of Los Angeles voiced their support for the resolution in favor of AB 5, introduced Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego. The City Council approved the resolution unanimously, 13-0.
RDU members said the bill intends to stop the “abuse of 1099 (IRS independent contractor tax filing) misclassification” that enables employers to deny workers basic wage protections and other benefits.
The resolution was introduced by City Council President Herb Wesson.
“This is a historic moment for drivers and other gig workers in Los Angeles, throughout the state of California and the entire country,” said Tyler Sandness, a driver-organizer with RDU.
The resolution specifically contends Uber and Lyft do not give the same job protections as full- or part-time employees by categorizing their workers as independent contractors.
Some public speakers at the meeting said AB 5 would have unintended consequences by hindering their flexibility in working a side job while either pursuing higher education or supplementing their main source of income. Some also contended it would increase costs of the ride-hailing services.
Uber and Lyft officials have been lobbying to have their companies exempted from the legislation, which would extend well beyond the ride-hailing services and affect a variety of businesses statewide. Industry experts have said the bill could potentially increase labor costs for companies like Uber and Lyft by 20 to 30 percent.