Here’s How Changes in Prop. 22 by Biden Administration Could Help Lyft and Uber Drivers Become Employees

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Biden Administration’s Impact on Prop. 22’s Possible Revisions

This month, more than 58% of Californian voters decisively classified Lyft and Uber drivers as contractors rather than employees after Proposition 22 got funded by the two previously mentioned companies with a total amount of $200 million. However, that could all change as the Biden administration drafts new rules to overturn Prop. 22’s key provisions. According to Biden’s labor administrators, they create regulations that could allow drivers to work benefits, union representation, and minimum salaries. The legislation would more likely secure its approval if the White House’s current Democrats could win January’s two Georgia runoff elections in the Senate.

When asked about a possible congressional reply to Prop. 22, House Education and Labor Committee member Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord declared that they would do everything they can to protect the working benefits of the state’s laborers. He also stated that the inequality dispute against California’s working people should come to a stop.

President Biden’s Future Decisions and California Voters’ Possible Reactions

However, things are not looking that sure regarding the matter. According to San Francisco’s UC Hastings labor law professor Veena Dubal, president-elect Biden has to consider formidable financial preferences over his long-standing support of labor partnerships. During Obama’s presidential term in the past, Obama’s administration members also did the same thing that Dubal has mentioned by allying with companies Lyft and Uber to secure financial interests for the state. Nevertheless, Dubal emphasized that if Biden were to stand firm with his principles, there is a higher chance to revise many of Prop. 22’s regulations in favor of assisting Uber and Lyft drivers’ rights to obtain additional working benefits.

But Dubal’s insights got countered by Yes on 22 campaign’s spokesperson Geoff Vetter, who said that the override of Prop. 22’s current provisions are unclear. According to Vetter’s released official statement, Washington politicians aiming to counter the California voters’ decision on the matter would result in widescale protests. Once that happens, chaos would ensue and stir uncertainty within millions of delivery and ride-and-share drivers who rely on this occupation to earn additional pay.

The Yes on 22 campaign’s legal counsel, Kurt Oneto, also supports Vetter’s theory on the issue. Oneto supplied that if Biden’s cabinet threatens to change the California regulation, the opposite result could happen by a future Republican administration. Once that happens, Prop. 22 would become a mandatory nationwide ordinance.

The Initiative’s Effect and Requirements Needed to Override State Laws

On December 6 of this year, the proposal would take effect all over the nation. The initiative demands that drivers, overruling California’s Supreme Court legislation and state laws, be considered independent contractors not eligible for benefits received by employees imposed by the country’s legislation. The gains include reimbursement for workplace fees, minimum salaries, overtime pay, unemployment coverage, sick leave, and laborers’ compensation. 

Federal regulations and laws for businesses that impact interstate commerce can overthrow state labor laws. Meanwhile, only a new ballot measure or the Legislature’s seven-eighths vote could override regulations imposed on Prop. 22.

Stanford labor law professor and former National Labor Relations Board chairman William Gould stated a perfect example for the previously mentioned statements. Gould sampled that under federal law, the board could approve legislation that recognizes Lyft and Uber drivers as employees, giving them the right to join associations. Once that occurs, the move would mandate corporations to discuss with their drivers regarding their working conditions, salaries, and additional benefits.

Furthermore, Gould stated that drivers would become eligible for workplace expense payments, minimum wages, and overtime pay if President Biden’s secretary establishes rules and regulations on the issues. However, Gould cautioned that making such changes happen would prove to become hard to achieve.