Uber and Lyft call California’s bluff over driver employment status

The state of California is trying to force ride-hailing companies to treat their drivers as permanent employees, but they would rather shut down.

The law in question is called Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), which apparently prohibits ride-hailing firms Uber and Lyft from classifying their drivers as independent contractors. Instead it wants to ensure said drivers get all the perks and benefits that come with being a full employee, which would significantly increase the cost of using them and, in turn, increase the cost of using the services.

Uber and Lyft don’t seem to have published any formal statements on the matter, instead choosing to litter their press sites and company blogs with the now customary pandering and corporate virtue signalling. However they have taken the opportunity to make their positions clear through other channels as reported by the Verge.

In the clip below, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi makes the point that its California drivers already have a lot of flexibility about what they can charge and that it’s especially counter-productive of the state to force this issue at a time of unprecedented unemployment. He and his counterpart at Lyft have said the move will force them to suspend operations in the state until Prop 22 is voted on by Californian residents in November.

While its easy for feel for gig economy workers due to their lack of benefits and job security, they’re essentially in the same position as all other contractors who knowingly exchange security for flexibility. Nobody has a gun to Uber and Lyft drivers’ heads and they’re free to seek salaried work if they choose. The painfully woke Californian legislature has essentially decided to ban casual labour and the real losers will be workers deprived of an easy revenue stream and consumers denied a cheaper alternative to taxis.


  1. Avatar Khoaja 14/08/2020 @ 9:57 pm

    Yes uber and lyft drivers must be employees, thank you the law of this beautiful country.

  2. Avatar Johnny A Silva 16/08/2020 @ 11:29 am

    I been working full time with Uber for five years, and the flexibility to do my job as a driver allow me to support my family , is not just a driver out of work is going to be a problem for my family and tausend of families in California

  3. Avatar alec 16/08/2020 @ 7:13 pm

    You forgot the part where you asked all of your uber drivers and they all said that they prefer to be exploited.

  4. Avatar Diana 17/08/2020 @ 4:03 pm

    Exploited? Ride Share contracts with you to carry customers they identify. You sign up and install the software on your personal phone that enables the connection and carry the customers in your personal vehicle. Now in California, that won’t be an option and you’ll be unemployed, thanks for helping all those people out of an option.

  5. Avatar Ajoy 22/08/2020 @ 3:32 am

    Just hold on. California is now going to call Uber and Lyft’s bluff. And if it’s not a bluff, even better. If they can’t obey the law, we don’t want them here. We have enough money to pay our drivers what they deserve.

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