News Mar 3, 2022 at 10:15 am

The Senate now must decide whether to do what's good for the moment or what's arguably good for the movement.



There is an easier solution....

Simply place Uber/Lyft drivers under the same classification and requirements as taxi cab drivers and call it a day.


"Speaking for Joint Council of Teamsters No. 28, Michael Gonzales said the bill 'completely bypasses the fact that these employees are misclassified in the first place. That's the fundamental issue that needs to be fixed.'"



"Steven Tolman, a lobbyist for the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, called the legislation "BS" during his opposing testimony over the weekend. 'They should be held to the standard of every other business in the state of Washington,' he said, referring to Uber and Lyft."



@1 Read @2 and then actually read the article.


"National Employment Law Project executive director Rebecca Dixon agreed. In a letter sent to all members of the Washington Senate last Friday, she said the bill enshrined 'a second-class employment status for Washington’s [app-based] drivers, who are disproportionately people of color and immigrants,' and added that it 'harkens back to the racist exclusion of farmworkers, domestic workers and tipped workers from the Fair Labor Standards Act.'

'Washington State should send the message that it will not tolerate attempts to exclude categories of workers from the baseline rights and protections to which all employees are entitled,' she said."



lies, @6, lies - so many gullible people


@8 they were cheap because they massively subsidized their rides to undercut the taxi business. They have slowly been backing away from that but the new regulations being passed in cities is accelerating the transition so now they are forced to pass through the true cost of the ride.

For those who are advocating for further regulation of ride share along with employment you should also understand it will cut both ways. You want to just log on to the app in the morning and grab a few rides because you have free time? NOPE. Now that you are an employee your time will be strictly tracked and you will be assigned a schedule to work. You want to work downtown for the day? NOPE. Capacity will need to be balanced so you'll be assigned an area to work. All the flexibility the current model offers will be gone and the driver pool will get reduced due to the increase in employment costs. For those drivers who can continue on it will definitely be better but consumers will pay more for less service and other employees will definitely lose out much like what happened with the min wage increase. There is always a balancing action to these regulations even though progressives like to pretend there isn't.


"Small Businesses Get a Boost From a $15 Minimum Wage"

"A $15 minimum wage would cost jobs, right? Probably not, economists say"

"New Evidence from the Seattle Minimum Wage Study"

And on the much touted Min Wage panic piece from two years ago, debunked:

"Six reasons not to put too much weight on the new study of Seattle’s minimum wage"

The new study is based on a flawed comparison between Seattle and other areas in Washington state. The comparison causes the study to measure a reduction in the number of new jobs under $15/hour, when in fact this is not a cause for concern.
The study’s analysis excludes newly entering workers in chains or other multi-site working establishments—these multi-site businesses are more than a third of low-wage employment in Washington.
Although the study is not a reliable guide to the effects of the policy, if its findings are actually correct, all of the groups of incumbent workers analyzed by the authors were better off after the minimum wage increase.
The hours reduction the study attributes to the minimum wage is very small: according to the study’s findings, low-wage workers worked about 45 minutes less per week after the minimum wage increases.
The study uses non-standard terminology about “experience” to describe those who worked different amounts of hours prior to the minimum wage increase.
Seattle was already a relatively high-wage city before the recent minimum-wage increases. The increases enacted in Seattle in 2015 and 2016 were not particularly high relative to the pre-existing wage levels in the city. As a result, other high-quality research, based on many historical minimum wage increases, is applicable to the 2015-2016 Seattle minimum wage increases.


The federal minimum wage is a floor, without a ceiling. So is the state, county, and city minimum wages. It would be insane for the state to agree to cap wages for gig workers, even if the deal seemed okay for now. It would inevitably fail to keep up with inflation. And the cost of living and cost of doing business is more expensive in some places than others. It absolutely makes sense for the minimum wage, both for traditional employees and gig workers, to be higher in cities like Seattle, which have much higher cost of living than the rest of the state. The state absolutely should not be castrating the drivers in expensive cities to make small gains for drivers elsewhere. This is a giveaway to the corporations.


@6, people do gig work because it appears to pay more than it does, and people are duped into it.

A few years ago, I did the math, and at that time* it was mathematically impossible for an Uber/Lyft driver to make minimum wage. Not even close. People didn't believe me. I got into lots of arguments, because at first it does look like it might pay more than minimum wage. But when you actually deduct the costs of vehicle depreciation, maintenance, gas, insurance, etc, plus paying double the SSN insurance (because it is classified as "independent contractor"), it would be impossible to earn minimum wage, even if you assumed the maximum number of miles you could conceivably drive in an hour. Without calculating all the expenses, it looked like it payed minimum wage. But after the expenses, it didn't even come close. Not even given the most favorable assumptions of how many billable miles you could drive. I even had Uber drivers swear up and down they made way more, but when I showed them how to accurately count their expenses, they were not. Most drivers were wildly overestimating what they actually made because most paid no attention to their expenses.

To be fair, my mathematical calculations are now several years out of date, and I'm guessing with current regulations, it probably pays more. Still, I would bet that a significant number of gig workers are still deceived into thinking they are earning way more than they actually do. Part of the whole gig business model is to classify the gig workers as independent contractors, and push all the expenses out to the workers. Most gig workers are not sophisticated enough to accurately calculate or estimate their actual expenses. They just see the $$ per mile, or $$ per hour, and ignore expenses, and it looks like okay money.


@4 The point is simply leave them as "employees under the same status as taxi drivers". This constant playing with the classifications from gig worker, to semi-gig worker to employee is tedious and tiresome.

This city and frankly the state wants to be a "Nanny state" and destroy any individual initiative. It doesn't believe in the free market but a state controlled labor market modeled after the bloated bureaucratic model which state, county and city employees enjoys ... pension, sick leave, paternity leave, dental, vision and all manner of public benefits... all funded at taxpayer expense.... Kind of a City Light Utopia model.

Of course unlike private business, these things are paid by taxes not revenues.

The legislature is now hearing the wailing of the public about the high price of Uber/Lyft fares.. due to their meddling. Keep the drivers in an employee status, let the "state" feel the weight of their decision and the wrath of a pissed off constituency.

Funny how the Nanny state pivots at the slightest change in the winds... just like the bozos on the city council.


Gonzales is right. The drivers are employees and should be treated as such. Uber and Lyft run on business models that depend on tax evasion. They place large numbers of workers outside of any of the protections of the Worker’s Compensation system because they don’t wanna pay the taxes. This puts legitimate businesses that do pay their taxes at a huge disadvantage. The IRS needs to crack down on them. That is the ultimate solution to the problem.

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