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Uber, Lyft Poised to Lose Fight Against CA Bill to Label Drivers Employees (wsj.com)
26 points by drkimball 12 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 13 comments

I don't understand why the term ride-sharing is even used when talking about Uber and Lyft. Has anyone ever gone with a driver who wasn't just driving an unlicensed cab? Or is it referring to multiple riders sharing one car?

All the Ubers/Lyfts I've used (between 30 and 40 as rough estimate) are people in what looks like their own cars. There's never been any cab insignia anywhere on them.

Unlicensed cab as in: driving people from point A -> point B with the purpose of making money, without having a taxi license.

The opponents of this bill claim that they would need to institute shifts. Why so? Why can't they just be part-time employees with flexible schedules?

If all drivers are employees and all show up to work at 10AM when there is little demand, you can’t pay all of them minimum wage. The companies would have to predict demand and ask just enough driver employees to match the demand.

Why does "employee" equate to "show up at 10AM" ? Why cant they work the same hours and style they do now, but with the title of "employee"?

That's an honest question, I know employment laws are complex and likely didnt include these concepts, but I'm also interested in facts over speculation.

You are correct. They could. This comes down to offering a minimum income to people who work for Uber and Lyft and giving them benefits that they would otherwise never qualify for like paid health insurance.

Then why am I paying surge pricing at times of high demand or low supply? Don’t you think that companies can profit share with their employees on that price differential?

While I like better prices through competition, I think the employees should be treated fairly.

At some point the race to the bottom to exploit workers has to stop.

I think california taxpayers should be treated fairly. Amazing how rent in SF is higher than what these drivers make, and the state solution is to make sure they pay more taxes.

So all freelancing companies also should follow the same route?

With the kind of freelancing you are probably referencing, the deal is that you get a much higher hourly rate with the drawback that you have less long term job security and need to actively manage your engagements, contracts, taxes, etc.

Ride sharing drivers usually get less money than "normal" drivers, to the point where legislators around the world want to protect them.

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