The Biggest Labor Scam In Modern History?

Threatened with regulation, multibillion-dollar gig economy employers convinced California voters this week to pass a ballot initiative that exempts app-base rideshare and delivery services from state wage and hour laws.

Uber and Lyft, ridesharing services, and DoorDash, a meal delivery service, among others, raised more than $200 million to conduct a supposed voter initiative called Proposition 22, which is believed to be the most expensive voter initiative in American history.

By approving Prop. 22, California voters permitted app-based employers to classify their drivers under state law as “independent contractors” who are ineligible for minimum wage, overtime, health insurance and reimbursement for expenses.

The gig employers’ $200 million purse bought a comprehensive media campaign but another factor may be even more critical to the campaign’s success – the gig employers were able to use their apps to warn actual customers and drivers of a “parade of horribles” (i.e. higher prices) that might ensue if their drivers were classified as employees instead of  independent consequences.

Moreover, they worded the actual ballot measure in an “artful” manner. Voters were told that failure to approve the measure would result in drivers having “less choice about when, where, and how much to work .”

Bottom line – the gig employers used a tool meant to be used by voters – not big business – to evade a law that was passed by voters’ elected representatives in California’s General Assembly for the purpose of protecting workers in California.

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