Now, that momentum is beginning to influence the discussion in other blue states, prompting lawsuits from workers and a frantic lobbying blitz from a swath of industries.
New Jersey recently fined Uber $650 million for misclassifying its drivers, and state lawmakers in Trenton are moving a worker classification bill with the kind of speed and controversy lobbyists say they haven't seen in years. New York could soon take up the issue, with CEOs of gig economy platforms already putting out suggestions for legislation shaped to their liking.
"I have not experienced in a long time so many industry sectors, so many walks of life in the business community coming out of the woodwork because of the complications of this bill," said Michael Egenton, Executive VP of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, at a recent hearing in Trenton.
The discussions in New Jersey and New York come on the heels of a lengthy debate in California that has the potential to redefine whether gig workers for companies like Uber and DoorDash should be treated as company employees. The fights in Sacramento and Trenton — and likely in Albany next year — could be an early indicator of what’s to come in other statehouses across the country.
It’s all part of a broader push by organized labor to embolden workers with more rights like overtime pay and the ability to unionize. But many in the business community fear this could jeopardize the status of legitimate independent contractors.
In California, a 2018 state Supreme Court ruling set out a stricter classification test that generally means app-based workers should be treated as employees, not independent contractors. The state Legislature followed up with a law to codify the ruling while exempting numerous professions — but not on-demand workers. Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Instacart and Postmates are trying to lure lawmakers back to the negotiating table by committing $110 million toward a ballot initiative that would define their workers as contractors.
Read more here.
Join us February 26-27 for the Property Portal Watch Conference Bangkok 2020.