Central Coast rideshare drivers react to passage of Prop 22

Posted at 8:11 PM, Nov 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-06 00:01:53-05

The battle over Proposition 22 was the most expensive in California state history with nearly $200 million going into the campaign.

With its approval, rideshare and delivery drivers will remain independent contractors in California.

San Luis Obispo County Uber driver Annette Reyes said she was satisfied with the result.

"I was so excited because I knew if it didn't pass, they would make us employees and I didn't want to be an employee. I wanted to be able to work when I wanted to work and be off when I wanted to be off," she said.

Uber driver Jeff Clark agreed.

"Independently, we can work when we want, we can take the rides that we want, we can refuse the ride if it is not a profitable ride for us," he said.

Now, rideshare drivers will not be classified as employees under California's AB5 labor law, exempting gig economy companies from providing employee benefits.

According to Lyft, drivers will get to keep their independence and gain the benefits contained in Prop. 22 including help with vehicle expenses and healthcare subsidy.

California voter Jim Huelskamp voted in favor of Proposition 22. He believes that it will help contractors live their lives to a higher quality.

"I hope these companies can respect (drivers) and can give them some of the benefits, especially if they are putting in a good amount of time," he said.

In a letter to their employees, Uber wrote, "With this vote, drivers and delivery people will get what so many of you have been asking for: access to benefits and protections, while maintaining the flexibility and independence you want and deserve."

Prop. 22 will need to be certified by the Secretary of State to become law. That is anticipated to be by December 16.

KSBY News reached out to AB5 proponent, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzales, to ask about her response to the proposition being passed, but have not heard back yet.