An initiative that would carve app-based transportation and delivery drivers out of AB 5 has qualified for the November ballot.
What supporters dubbed the “Protect App-Based Drivers and Services Act” was written in response to last year’s passage of AB 5, according to Stacey Wells, a spokeswoman for the campaign on behalf of the initiative.
AB 5 codifies into law a California Supreme Court ruling imposing stricter requirements for employers to classify workers as independent contractors.
Backers of the initiative say it would allow app-based drivers to gain additional income by working a few hours a week on schedules they determine as independent contractors.
Opponents, led by the California Labor Federation, say passage of the initiative would remove protections for app-based drivers, such as paid sick and family leave, health insurance and workers’ compensation.
Independent contractors are not entitled to certain state-law protections afforded employees, including minimum wage, overtime, unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation.
If approved by voters, the initiative would provide drivers a guaranteed earning of at least an amount equal to 120% of the minimum wage plus 30 cents per mile compensation toward expenses; a new health care contribution drivers can start earning after driving 15 hours a week, drivers would earn 100% of the contribution at 25 hours a week; and occupational accident insurance to protect against injuries and illnesses on the job which would act like workers’ compensation.
The initiative would also require companies to provide safety training and create sexual harassment policies. It would also restrict local regulation of app-based drivers, criminalize impersonation of such drivers and require background checks.
The initiative has received major financial backing from the parent company of the ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft and the on-demand prepared food delivery service DoorDash.
The initiative required 623,212 valid signatures from registered voters, 5% of the total votes cast for governor in the November 2018 General Election.
A measure can become eligible via random sampling of petition signatures if the sampling projects that the number of valid signatures is greater than 110% of the required number.
The initiative needed at least 685,534 projected valid signatures to become eligible by random sampling. It exceeded that threshold Friday, Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced.
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