Friday, December 8, 2023

To save 1.3 million California jobs, the California Supreme Court must uphold Prop. 22

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For more than a decade, app-based rideshare and delivery work has provided hundreds of thousands of Californians like me with a supplemental way to earn money. Retirees, caregivers, parents, teachers and students alike have all used  app-based work on our own schedules to earn extra cash and help cover the bills..

However, the fate of app-based work hangs in the balance as  the California Supreme Court is expected to make a critical ruling on Prop 22  soon.

In 2020, a resounding 60 percent of California voters passed  Prop 22, a statewide ballot measure aimed at protecting the rights of app-based drivers to work as independent contractors, free to set our own schedules and works on our own terms. The measure also provided guaranteed earnings and new benefits.

Despite a recent Court of Appeal decision upholding Prop 22, special interest opponents of the law have challenged it all the way to the Supreme Court.  Prop 22 opponents are fighting to overturn the will of 10 million California voters  and threaten to take away app-based work for hundreds of thousands of people like me.

Related: Prop. 22 should remain law in California to help workers retain flexibility

A newly released report from the Berkeley Research Group found that if Prop 22 were no longer the law of the land,and companies were required to reclassify drivers as employees, it could force app-based platforms to slash the number of drivers from roughly 1.4 million to just over 98,000 –  a reduction of more than 1.3 million work opportunities app-based driver job.

According to the report, a reversal of Prop 22 could “(s)ignificantly threaten the continued operation of the network platform model in California” and “(r)educe the number of app-based driver jobs needed to satisfy consumer demand by at least 93 percent, resulting in the immediate elimination of work opportunities for hundreds of thousands of Californians currently working as independent contractor drivers.”

As for DoorDash, I’ve seen firsthand  how important this work and services we provide our communities are. In these challenging  economic times, it just doesn’t make sense to jeopardize  the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of app-based drivers. I’ve met other drivers who utilize driving income to pay off student debt, who help out their families and who would be without any earnings at all if they had to be full-time employees. Furthermore, we hear stories all the time about drivers who help get folks to doctor appointments, who deliver meals to those who are homebound. The bottomline is that California can’t afford to lose this vital part of how people work and live.

The simple reality is that app-based drivers like me prefer working as independent contractors: 87 percent of drivers support Prop 22 with even more affirming the law has been good for us. Drivers statewide have continued to reiterate that the courts should stand by voters and protect Prop 22.

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