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California to decide if AB5 applies to app drivers

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Posted at 8:57 AM, May 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-23 11:57:44-04

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A ballot initiative led by business giants Uber, Lyft and Doordash is now set to go before California voters in November.

It is a multimillion-dollar attempt to shield app-based drivers in the state from a labor law, known as AB5, that makes companies give more benefits and wage protections to their workers.

California approved the labor law last year, the strictest in the country on when employers can classify workers as independent contractors. The law, while praised by many labor groups, set off lawsuits from independent contractors who said it put them out of work.

All three companies plan to spend at least $30 million each promoting the measure to keep their drivers as independent contractors.

“At a time when California’s economy is in crisis with 4 million people out of work, we need to make it easier, not harder, for people to quickly start earning,” a statement from Uber said.

The result could set a national precedent if successful.