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Prop 22

What’s that? You thought this was just about movies and TV? Nope. It’s Reviews For No Reason – The Opinion No One Asked For. None of you asked for it, but here’s my Review of Prop 22. I’m going to do my best to leave opinion out of the backstory here. If you’re already well versed in AB-5 and Prop 22, feel free to scroll to the bottom to see my opinion.

On January 1, 2020, California enacted law AB5. The law stated that a company could not classify any of its essential workers as independent contractors, or “gig workers”. It meant that if a particular job was essential to their business, the workers who performed that job had to be classified as employees and not independent contractors. Being classified as employees meant that they were entitled to things like sick pay and minimum wage.

Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and a few other gig companies threatened to stop operations in California all together. They were granted a stay of execution (they didn’t have to reclassify all their employees right away) and then they threw an obscene amount of money into a ballot measure – Prop 22. They spent over $200 million dollars promoting a measure that would allow them to keep classifying their essential workers as independent contractors. Instead of spending $200 million dollars to give them health insurance and sick pay.

Proposition 22 passed, and the large conglomerates that run on gig workers celebrated by continuing to profit off the work of others and ensuring that the wage gap would continue to increase. That is until recently when a judge ruled that Prop 22 was unconstitutional, reopening the can of worms that is workers rights.

At the end of the day, it’s the gig workers that are getting screwed. It’s a classic “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” scenario because, and I can’t stress this enough, the companies made it that way. They acted like a cranky five year old- “if you’re not going to let me do exactly what I want, then I won’t play with you anymore.”

Can all these gig companies just pretend for one second that they’re the aspirational millennials we were all told to be, and at least act like they care about human decency? They’re dressing it up in a whole bunch of frilly words and sad stories that took up 98% of my Hulu ads last fall, but what they’re really saying is: We don’t care about our workers. They are but ID numbers on a website that generate our income. We don’t care about their sick pay as long as we get our bonuses.

I’m over reading articles about whether or not it’s constitutional and how it’s divided between left and right, because that’s all just the window dressing. The real problem is that our country has become a place where average people pick up side gigs to make ends meet and as they toil in the grind, companies still don’t want to give them basic compensation.

Categories: Current Events

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nikkiraejensen

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