At last count, over 200,000 Californians make money driving for Uber. Are they employees or independent contractors? The recent passage of Prop 22 is supposed to settle the issue but, instead, it raises more questions.
On one hand, Prop 22 exempts companies like Uber, Lyft, and Doordash from AB-5, which imposes a test to prove workers are not employees. On the other, it grants these workers certain benefits and protections that never existed before.
If you drive for any of these companies, what does all of this mean for you? Will Lyft or Uber send you a 1099-MISC or, under certain conditions, a W-2? This blog provides an overview of how Prop 22 affects app-based drivers (for now, anyway), which businesses it governs, and how it affects any litigation in progress.
Prop 22 states that you are an independent contractor unless the company does any of the following:
If you work for an app-based company that meets certain criteria, they must provide you with certain benefits, such as:
At the moment, Prop 22 applies only to rideshare and delivery drivers for network-oriented companies that meet certain criteria. Smaller businesses that engage their own drivers or use other types of contractors still need to meet the AB5 test.
Prop 22 basically creates a new worker status test. It does not appear to apply retroactively, which means that if you already have a misclassification case against these gig companies, your lawsuit can continue. If you have questions, speak to a California employment lawyer right away to see what your options are.
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