California voters elect to classify gig economy workers as contractors rather than employees
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California voters elect to classify gig economy workers as contractors rather than employees

Voters in California elected to adopt Proposition 22 during Tuesday’s election, classifying “gig” workers as independent contractors. This proposition was backed by companies such as Lyft, Uber, DoorDash, Postmates and Instacart, and it overrides an assembly bill passed in 2019 in the state declaring so-called “gig economy” workers to be employees, not contractors. Proposition 22 instead declares such workers contractors, and, according to poll results thus far, 58.4 percent of the vote was in favor of the proposition.

The likely overridden Assembly Bill 5 easily earned a majority of votes on the California assembly floor, with a 61 to 16 rate to approve it. The bill codified the court decision Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles, which created a “presumption that a worker who performs services for a hirer is an employee for purposes of claims for wages and benefits arising under wage orders issued by the Industrial Welfare Commission.”

Proposition 22 defines “engaged time” to include only the time between a worker’s acceptance of a passenger or a delivery on the app and when they drop off the passenger or make the delivery. Although workers are still listing themselves as available on the app for work, they are not being paid for their time or mileage. They are also not accruing any benefits during this time under Proposition 22’s definition of “engaged time.”

Out of the total 11,766,614 votes, 6,872,166 were in favor of the proposition and 4,894,448 were against it. This was one of 25 propositions in the state this past election cycle.