California voters have voted on a controversial proposal that would protect part-time companies from state law requiring them to list most workers as employees, blooming news agency Bloomberg reported. News outlets, including The Washington Post and NBC News, followed the proposal Tuesday before the final results came out. Nearly 58 percent of voters supported the proposal, according to the California Secretary of State’s office.
Drivers of technology companies such as Uber, Lyft and DoorDash, which employ large numbers of odd jobs, will receive some new corporate benefits, but will not be eligible for full employment benefits and protections, as lawmakers hope. Uber and Lyft alone could save more than $100 million a year in hiring costs, according to one estimate.
Proposition 22 is critical to the ride industry in California and other regions. The vote is about the future of these app-based work platforms, which use independent contractors to deliver takeaways and passengers in cities.
The importance of this struggle is reflected in the financial contributions of the Ballot Initiative. DoorDash, Instacart, Lyft, Postmates and Uber together spent $200 million on the campaign, making it the most expensive voting measure in the state’s history. The “No on 22” camp is mainly funded by unions, but they have raised only about one-tenth of the money.
The approval of this measure means that zero-industry companies can continue to use independent contractors to power their services. These workers will receive a new set of benefits, such as health insurance benefits and a minimum hourly wage, based on the number of hours they actively work, but not the amount of time they wait for each job.