Uber and Lyft want to continue calling their driver’s independent contractors instead of employees. 

On July 1st, Uber and Lyft clarified the scoping memo issued by California regulators that called for the companies’ drivers to become employees. 

While the scoping memo was not a final decision, the San Francisco based companies ensured that their stance on the matter was clear. In a statement released by the attorneys for the companies, they noted, “no such finding [that drivers are employees] was or could be made by the Assigned Commissioner, or even by the full Commission.” 

What Could Come Of Classifying Drivers As Employees?

According to a Forbes article, drivers may not have the ability to create their own schedule or refuse rides. Many drivers have other jobs in addition to driving for Uber or Lyft. Without being able to choose when to drive, it could eliminate the opportunity for individuals to pursue Uber or Lyft as a part-time gig. 

Forbes also wrote about the idea of a robotaxi service. Ride-hailing services could compare the cost of a robotaxi service to that of a human driver and potentially eliminate human drivers altogether. Uber warned that if California required the ride-hailing companies to consider their drivers employees, that the affordability of the service would be at risk. 

What Do Uber And Lyft Want?

Uber and Lyft want to continue calling their driver’s independent contractors. Additionally, they would like to grant them benefits and earning guarantees. This would include occupational accident insurance which would play a role similar to that of workers’ compensation.

Now, California and the ride-hailing companies will continue to battle. Comments from either side will need consideration in order to decide the fate of Uber, Lyft, and their drivers.

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