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App-Based Drivers Initiative Qualifies for November Ballot

An initiative that would overturn provisions of AB 5 applying to app-based transportation and delivery drivers 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 […]

An initiative that would overturn provisions of AB 5 applying to app-based transportation and delivery drivers 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 require companies with independent contractor drivers to provide specified alternative benefits, including minimum compensation and health care subsidies based on engaged driving time, vehicle insurance, safety training and sexual harassment policies.

The initiative 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 company Uber, the ride-hailing company 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.