The bill would prevent businesses from being able to classify drivers as independent contractors when in reality the drivers are employees, according to the bill’s explanatory memorandum. The memo states that an employer can not classify an employee who is working as a independent contractor as an independent contractor unless he or she receives a written waiver of a reasonable accommodation request for the employee. Both Uber and Lyft classify drivers as independent contractors unless they sign up for a two-year membership, complete an interview, pay a fee and have their vehicles inspected yearly. If AB5 becomes law, drivers could be subject to the same penalties as other non-employees for not paying their fares. For example a fare, a surge, a cancellation or a flat fee, the owner of an ride service could have to file a lawsuit against the driver if the driver fails to pay her fare, said [the Democratic senator who sponsored the bill,] Jeff Stone, a San Francisco attorney who co-wrote the bill. “The rider’s entire livelihood is at stake, but the rider is going to get kicked out of the ride service if the service refuses to pay an adequate fare,” Stone said. “She is already under a lot of pressure to work, get up early, and go, and her job situation is going to change because he or she is not going to get paid.” The bill’s language makes it seem likely that the bill will pass. The Democratic-sponsored bill is scheduled for a floor vote before the end of the 2015 legislative session.
As they have become increasingly adept at using technology in their business model, cab companies and limo companies have sought to skirt classifications as employment in California. Many local governments have been at least moderately successful in making sure that ridesharing companies are classed as taxi and limo companies. If AB 5 becomes law, drivers would face the same penalty as other drivers who do not pay their fares and who are not on the company’s insurance plan.
It now appears that politicians in many states will be considering adding on to existing anti-protest clauses. With new technology and the way they work, the taxi and limo operators will certainly be at pains to keep their services as safe and efficient as possible no matter how lawlessness prevails. With this in mind, it’s important for you to remember: If you were in a taxi or limo service today, don’t be afraid to get on the Uber or Lyft or Lyft Line or the Lyft Line. If you see someone in your car who is “acting suspicious” (not the way you do it when you’re on vacation) and who seems to be talking or looking at you, don’t take your eyes off them either. If they look back, immediately say something like, “Okay, I really like your car, you might be a good driver. You can drop me off.” A driver may not be able to see a particular passenger, but a passenger often can.
And if you have to pick up someone in a situation like these, then you know you should use Lyft or Uber. They’re safer (and better for the environment.) They’re more convenient (and don’t have to share road space.) They can usually pick you up in a second or 3rd glance. They have the money; you never need to feel guilty for using the service.
To all of you in limousine and taxi services, make sure you do your homework and use safe drivers if you have them, since you all can fall victim to cab driver or limousine drivers who want very particular and even violent treatment. But don’t think you need to be afraid when you’re on that ride.
The fact is that even if some people are using technology as a weapon in the war on poverty, most will probably end up using it for something else. The good news is there are many ways to make money without being in poverty. Whether you are looking for a job, freelancing, doing book writing, art, or even learning how to do some sort of creative project while traveling, if you’re in a service industry it’s not going to be that hard to get on a train or shuttle, pick up someone, and continue on to another job with the money you save.
The problem goes beyond just how poor you might seem with a bag of dirty diapers in the trunk inside of your caryou don’t have a job. You don’t have the ability to support a family. You have nothing. You may even be working in some sort of service industry. But all it takes is a simple search on Google if this is something you can do in your spare time.
Take the bus. That’s right, stop by any public bus stop to take one. If you are in a community that offers public transport, just hitchhike the bus. Just hop on the front or back or the side every few days or so and you’ll find that you really don’t need to move into the middle of the street anymore either. And the bus is the one place where you