Evaluating Benefits and Repercussions of Prop 22


By Noa Prados 

Proposition 22 on the California ballot has garnered the attention of voters and reporters, and some may be unclear on what this proposition specifically calls for. 

As explained on the California General Election Voter Information Guide website, Proposition 22 would classify drivers working for app-based transportation, such as Uber or Lyft, as independent contractors, rather than employees.

The proposal of the proposition calls to make drivers independent contractors, and to give drivers various benefits. These benefits would require app-based transportation companies to pay their employees “120 percent of the local minimum wage for each hour a driver spends driving,” but this does not include time spent waiting. The proposal calls for a health insurance stipend, which would require companies to help pay for their drivers’ health insurance.

Additionally, this measure would require companies to pay medical costs in the event that a driver is harmed on the job, as well as replacing at least a portion of the lost income that would have been obtained if the accident had not occurred. A rest policy would be put into effect, which would prohibit drivers from working for more than 12 hours within a 24 hour period. 

Other requirements of which the proposal calls for include the development of sexual harassment policies, the conduction of criminal background checks, as well as mandating safety training for hired drivers.

If this proposition passes, drivers for app-based transportation companies would be able to decide when they would work, where they would drive and how many hours they would work. However, they would not receive the standard and expected benefits that businesses are required to give to their employees. 

Supporters of this proposition argue it would give drivers an immense amount of independence, as they would be free to choose their own schedule. Supporters feel this proposition would strengthen public safety and save the rideshare businesses.

There are several elements within the argument in favor of Proposition 22 that are highlighted on the California General Election Voter Information Guide website. Most notably, the argument in favor of the proposition claims to protect the personal choice of app-based transportation drivers and gives them the option to have a schedule tailored to their own time. 

If the proposition does not pass, app-based transportation and food delivery companies would be required to hire their drivers as employees, rather than independent contractors. This would mean drivers would have less choice about when, where and how much they would work, but they would receive the standard benefits companies are required to provide to their employees. 

Opponents of this proposition seek to persuade voters to vote NO, in order to prevent “billion-dollar app companies like Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash from writing their own exemption to California law and profiting from it,” as reported on the California General Election Voter Information Guide. A vote NO on this proposition would deny drivers their rights and various protections, such as healthcare and sick leave.

Opponents of the proposition highlight that billion-dollar app-based transportation services would profit from the proposition, while drivers would essentially be exploited and lose their rights and protections.

In the argument against Proposition 22, it is mentioned that the proposition would create a special exemption which would fully eliminate workplace benefits and instead replace them with benefits that are “designed to save the companies money.” Essentially, the argument against Proposition 22 attempts to emphasize that the proposition is solely about money, and is not about assisting drivers who work for app-based transportation companies.

Voters must determine whether to vote YES or NO for Proposition 22. One way or another, current employees for app-based transportation and delivery services will certainly be impacted by the outcome.

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32 thoughts on “Evaluating Benefits and Repercussions of Prop 22”

  1. Eric Gelber

    Primary financial backers of Prop. 22: DoorDash, Lyft, Uber.

    Primary backers of the opposition: The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, SEIU-UHW West, Service Employees International Union, United Food & Commercial Workers Local 770, and United Food & Commercial Workers Western States Issues PAC—labor unions or union-affiliated committees.

    Follow the money. Who would be the primary beneficiaries if Prop 22 passes—the drivers or the huge corporations that pay them? Either way, is the initiative process the way to be carving out piecemeal exemptions to state law?

    1. Chris Griffith

      Yes Eric one does have to follow the money.

      All the unions feel threatened with Uber Lyft and etc.  In my humble opinion if someone wants to go into business for themselves and haul drunks and arrogant politicians around in the back of their cars may a force be with them. why should anyone stand in their way. A lot of truck drivers get their loads through freight brokers that act and do just like uber and Lyft so our truck driver is bad because they’re not Union and they simply want to work for themselves I think not. For me I have to admire Uber and Lyft drivers if they want to put in a hundred hours a week great may they make a million dollars a year why should unions or the state of California stand on her way. But then again that is the socialist way.

      1. Richard McCann

        Chris G

        Why do we encourage and facilitate the ability of owners of capital to collectively invest in assets, collectively bargain for purchase and sales prices, and protect their market shares through intellectual property rights and other mechanisms that lead to market concentration and enhanced shareholder returns, but on the other hand undermine the ability of workers to organize and collectively bargain for sale of their services? Why do we so heavily weight the balance towards corporate shareholders in the labor market negotiations by allowing them to collectively bargain on their behalf while discouraging workers for exercising the same benefits? Corporations don’t need to have a vote of shareholders to decide if they’ll be represented by management in these negotiations.

      1. Keith Olsen

        A No on 22 will cost countless jobs.  Many/most of these sub contractors enjoy the flexibility of working whenever they want or don’t want.  They like to ability to supplement their other income on their terms.

        1. Jim Frame

          A No on 22 will cost countless jobs.

          I don’t think that Uber and Lyft will actually leave California if Prop 22 fails, but if they do it’ll be proof that their business model was built on a false premise.


          Many/most of these sub contractors enjoy the flexibility of working whenever they want or don’t want.  They like to ability to supplement their other income on their terms.

          Unfortunately, they don’t get to do that:  they’re forced to supplement their income on Uber’s/Lyft’s terms, which are increasingly hostile to their “subcontractors” (read:  employees).

          1. David Greenwald

            I hate that argument. It’s like, no one is forcing someone to work in a sweatshop with subpar wages and conditions, no one is forcing them to work in the fields for 50 cents per day. Might as well not do anything about unjust wages or conditions, because people may possibly have a choice? It’s a BS argument Alan.

        2. Richard McCann

          Alan M

          Your view of the world is unsupported by the facts. You are looking at a simplistic mythical model of the economy if you think that workers have choices for higher paying jobs. Most workers do not have the resources to sit out the labor market until wages rise enough to cover their expenses. See my comment above about how we give corporations preferential treatment on collective bargaining. If we outlawed the formation of corporations and only individuals could own capital assets I might agree with your premise, but that’s never going to be the case, so instead we live in a world where we need to also give the means of workers to improve their collective lot just as we give tools to corporate shareholders.

        3. Keith Olsen

          Richard states:

          You are looking at a simplistic mythical model of the economy if you think that workers have choices for higher paying jobs. 

          But just 2 days ago Richard stated:

          Richard McCann October 14, 2020 at 11:03 am
          Union dues are the same as corporate shareholders being forced to contribute to political candidates. The situation is identical–if you want to participate in the economic opportunity availed by that organization, then you also must accept the political actions of that organization. You can switch your job just as you can switch your stock ownership.


      1. Don Shor

        I have gotten so tired of having to wade through complex and misleading ballot propositions financed by deep-pocket special interests that my default vote is no. There has to be a compelling reason to vote yes, and the unintended consequences need to be considered. I shouldn’t be voting on things like Uber drivers, or dialysis businesses, or any of the myriad other propositions that are clearly intended simply to benefit their sponsors.

        1. Eric Gelber

          I shouldn’t be voting on things like Uber drivers, or dialysis businesses, or any of the myriad other propositions that are clearly intended simply to benefit their sponsors.

          Exactly. Which is why the Sac Bee, in an editorial today, accurately described Prop. 22 as special interest politics at its worst. I have repeatedly stated that the initiative process is not the appropriate mechanism for addressing most complex issues. How many voters understand the legal definition of “independent contractor” as articulated by the Supreme Court in, e.g., Dynamex Operations, West v. Superior Court?

          Keith says many drivers like to supplement their income on their terms. But many drivers aren’t merely supplementing their incomes. I suspect most drivers like earning at least minimum wage with adequate benefits, rather than being exploited.

    1. Alan Miller

      Vote YES on Prop 22.

      I am!  I am!   Best darn prop in awhile.

      Lorena Gonzalez was placed on Earth by Satan to pass AB-5 – bought and paid for by the mega-unions that control our state even more than the big corporations do, do, doodley do do doo.

      1. Richard McCann

        BS Alan. Unions have significant influence in two sectors in our state economy: government and construction. (And employment is falling in both of those sectors.) Corporations rule the roost everywhere else. It’s just that union influence is so unusual that it makes the news while we are so completely immersed in corporate influence that we can’t distinguish from the air we breathe. You usually have a good healthy dose of cynicism and skepticism. Don’t fall into the trap that the right wing has been building over the last half century about the mythology of the poor put upon corporations.


        1. Alan Miller

          I despise all public, and many large- unions and most mega-corporations.  Why do they lie? – is it their greed?

          Maybe it’s a myth in some places, but it’s no myth in Sacramento state government politics.

  2. Chris Griffith

    We are currently living in a state where corporations and companies are leaving in large volumes and here we are pounding on individuals just trying to simply carve out a living and liberals are concerned about if they’re making less than minimum wage? that’s sad.

    We have business people  watching on how the voting public votes on proposition 15 wondering if they have to move.

    By the time liberals turn this state into some type of sick Alice in wonderland movie. I kind of interested in knowing who’s going to be left to turn the lights switch off.

    I wonder how many people that post on this blog has ever signed the front side of a paycheck?

    1. Jim Frame

      I wonder how many people that post on this blog has ever signed the front side of a paycheck?

      You can start counting with me, then move on to Don Shor.

      1. David Greenwald

        Hello – technically I don’t sign the paychecks, we have a payroll system, but the Vanguard has had numerous paid employees over the year – including now.

    2. Richard McCann

      We’ve been hearing this shibboleth about “departing corporations” for DECADES! If this was true, the California economy would be worse than Mississippi’s and starting to approach Haiti’s. But instead California’s economic growth has consistently outpaced the national rate, most often ranking among the top half dozen each year (most of the other states usually dominated the industry de jure such as oil fracking recently).


  3. Bill Marshall


    Theoretically, independent ‘contractors’, have to withhold state and fed taxes (depending on yearly income from their activity) and make quarterly payments, and also pay ’employer AND employee’ SS & MC… wonder how many do… [also, ‘business license’?]

    I was an “independent contractor” for about a year… had to do both… the costs of that, plus cost of E/O/L insurance, business license, meant that after a year, I cleared enough ‘profit’ to buy a couple of 24-packs of Bud.

    There are some responsibilities to being an “independent contractor”… i.e., self-employed…

    See nothing of that in the public discussion, here, nor in the press…

    Maybe a “wink-wink” to an ‘underground economy’?

  4. Richard McCann

    I’m voting no for a different reason. We should not be tying all of these benefits to employment (and I think workers should have more freedom on choosing work conditions if feasible). Instead the we should be funding these benefits directly through the government instead of indirectly through employers. By forcing corporations to bear these burdens now, we can lower their resistance to transferring those burdens to the governments. So I’m playing the long game on this.

      1. David Greenwald

        No their arguments tried to convince me to vote no. Trust me. I understand that they were voting yes, but they were making conservative arguments to liberals. Not a good persuasive move.

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