Tag: california

Timeline: Documents reveal the Pac-12’s struggle with California government over return for football

When the Pac-12 announced a deal with Quidel Corp. in early September to acquire daily antigen tests, commissioner Larry Scott hailed the partnership as a “game changer” that could lead to the return of football sooner than expected.

But 11 days later, the conference had made little progress and, according to documents obtained by the Hotline, was immersed in bureaucratic back-and-forth with the state of California that threatened to overwhelm efforts to play football before Thanksgiving.

“So we are starting in the right place, and the next step will be a conversation with the California Department of Public Health,’’ Pac-12 executive Erik Hardenbergh wrote to campus officials.

That email was written on Sept. 14 — a week-and-a-half after the Quidel deal and with the Big Ten on the brink of announcing its return.

Later in the same email, which was the most instructive of the documents obtained, Hardenbergh added:

“This could take some time.”

But the next day, everything changed. The USC players went public with an appeal to California Governor Gavin Newsom, and suddenly Pac-12 football had the momentum required to return sooner than later.

A Hotline investigation into two of the most important weeks in conference history suggests the football restart might have been delayed until late November — and might not have happened at all — without the USC players stepping forward with their plea.

The documents and interviews reviewed by the Hotline indicate that even after striking the deal for antigen tests, the conference was focused on basketball, targeting a football restart after Thanksgiving and making only incremental progress in efforts to ease state restrictions and allow the California teams to practice.

The Pac-12 declined to comment on the specifics of discussions with state or university officials that are outlined below.

However, it’s important to note that the conference office typically serves as a coordinator on policy matters, not as an advocate.

For that reason, the string of internal emails cited below included members of not only the four athletic departments but also the universities’ government relations teams.

Those teams, along with the conference office, had been working with state and local authorities for months during the pandemic, providing regular updates on matters that impacted athletics and the universities as a whole.

*** List of people referenced in the timeline:

Scott: Pac-12 commissioner
Hardenbergh: Pac-12 chief of staff (liaison to athletics and campus government affairs)
Maggy Carlyle: Pac-12 general counsel
Lande Ajose: Senior Policy Advisor for Higher Education (state of California)
Jennifer Simon-O’Neill: chief of staff for Cal athletics
Mike Bohn: USC athletic director
Brandon Sosna: chief of staff for USC athletics
Kim Harmon: UW football physician; member of Pac-12 medical team

*** Background on this article:

Our request for public records was submitted to Cal in the early afternoon of Sept. 14, in an attempt to better understand the Pac-12’s strategy for convincing the state of California to expand cohort limits to a level that would allow the four teams to practice. The requested was

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Fake “official” drop boxes set up by California GOP may be in “violation of state law”: official

Ballot Box
Ballot Box

A woman places her ballot paper in the box during early voting Getty Images/Mark Ralston

The California Republican Party is operating unofficial ballot drop boxes that Secretary of State Alex Padilla said on Sunday were in “violation of state law.”

Jordan Tygh, a regional field director for the California Republican Party, promoted an “official ballot drop off box” on Twitter and urged followers to message him for “convenient locations” to drop their ballots last week, The Orange County Register first reported. One voter reported an “Official Ballot Drop Box” that was “approved and bought by the GOP” outside of a Los Angeles area church before it was removed after county officials warned on social media that it was “not an official vote by mail drop box and does not comply with [state] regulations for drop boxes,” according to KCAL.

The boxes were set up across Southern California in front of churches, gyms, and gun stores by the California GOP, according to The Washington Post. One chapter of the state Republican Party in California rolled out its own drop-off sites while echoing President Donald Trump’s baseless allegations over the “security” of mail voting even though it has been repeatedly shown to be safe and secure.

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“CONSERVATIVE VOTER ALERT!,” the Fresno GOP said while announcing a list of unofficial locations to drop off ballots. “President Trump is very concerned about the lack of security with mail in ballots. Don’t take a chance that your vote will not be counted. Once your ballot arrives in the mail, mark your ballot completely and then walk it in, as soon as possible, to one of the secure locations listed below. Make sure your vote counts!”

Padilla, a Democrat, said on Sunday that it was illegal to operate unofficial ballot drop boxes.

“Operating unofficial ballot drop boxes — especially those misrepresented as official drop boxes — is not just misleading to voters, it’s a violation of state law,” he told the Post. “My office is coordinating with local officials to address the multiple reports of unauthorized ballot drop boxes. Californians should only use official ballot drop boxes that have been deployed and secured by their county elections office.”

The OC Register reported that those operating the unofficial drop boxes could face felony charges that carry up to two to four years in prison.

Orange County Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley told the the outlet that he had received hundreds of complaints about the drop boxes.

“What we did was started to look into it, notified the state, and the Secretary of State issued guidance this afternoon that it is illegal and you can’t do that,” he said. “It would be like me installing a mailbox out on the

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Can new California law on board diversity really change corporate culture?

The summer was filled with scorching images of racial injustice, and the fury that injustice breeds. Now comes the fall, and with it a yearning for the cooling breeze of potent reform.

From all quarters is heard the righteous demand for diversity, equity and inclusion. This week, California purported to respond on the corporate front.

Gov. Gavin Newsom recently signed into law a dramatic new statute that requires public corporations headquartered in California to put at least one minority on their board of directors by 2021. By 2022, most public boards are required to have at least one-third minority directors. Under this law, minority means either a member of a historically underrepresented racial group, or a gay, lesbian or transgender person.

In some ways, this is a remarkable advance for proponents of diversity in America’s most powerful institutions. Yet in a deeper sense, it is business as usual. Or worse, it is the co-option of the impulse to racial justice by prevailing systems of power and privilege.

What is diversity for?

Corporate law in the United States requires corporate directors to use their powers to pursue profits for shareholders. Profits may not be sacrificed in the interests of workers, consumers, communities or patriotic conscience.

“Cakes and ales,” as an old case puts it, are permitted, but only such as are necessary to make money for shareholders. This is the rule today, whether the issue is corporate diversity, coronavirus-themed advertising or any policy that purports to be socially responsible. In fact, American corporations routinely lay off thousands of workers, destroy local communities and ignore the national interest when profit so commands.

California’s new corporate minority quota comes fast on the heels of the Golden State adopting a gender quota for corporate boards in 2018. When that reform was passed, many scholars doubted the constitutional viability of the command. The Constitution requires “equal protection” under the law, and jurists usually hold that strict hiring quotas violate this standard. Yet only recently have a few cases begun to percolate that challenge the corporate gender quota. Most firms have complied with the new strictures, eagerly identifying women who will further the faithful pursuit of corporate profits.

Proponents of corporate diversity quotas believe that more women directors will improve corporate sensitivity to the needs of employees’ families and children. They hope minority directors will curb corporate abuses that harm poor and disadvantaged communities. They may be right. But if they are right, this will happen only through informal, unspoken compromises at the margin, in the shadow of the law that says shareholders are first — rather than being dealt with explicitly in the boardroom, in the corporate conscience, and in the most important decisions, where shareholders alone are served.

Without reform of our foundational corporate governance law, California’s diversity statutes represent (brace yourself) capitalism’s commodification of diversity, equity and inclusion, and a capture of gender and racial justice impulses in the service of the shareholding class, rather than genuine reform.

Progressives who want corporations to

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What is proposition 22? The ballot measure that could determine the future of Uber and Lyft in California

The ballot measure, known as Proposition 22, would establish drivers as an independent class of workers with access to limited job benefits, along with wage and worker protections they’ve so far lacked under the gig economy model. Labor groups and many of driver advocates say the companies’ efforts, however, do not go far enough to protect workers and are merely an attempt, cloaked in friendly marketing materials, to quash a new law that would guarantee drivers access to the minimum wage, employer-provided health care and bargaining rights.

Drawing on a more than $186 million campaign war chest that Uber, Lyft, food delivery app DoorDash and other tech companies have raised, they are seeking to convince California voters that the ballot initiative reflects the will of drivers. They’ve cited limited survey data saying the vast majority of drivers want to remain contractors.

But critics see the measure as a last-ditch effort to strong-arm a tough law.

The gig companies are following a long history in California of powerful groups “manipulating the way the public understands propositions,” said Veena Dubal, an associate professor at the University of California Hastings College of the Law, who focuses on the gig economy and is an advocate for classifying drivers as employees in California. “They are working to trick the public … into voting in favor of this. And they’re getting traction.”

The heated battle could well result in major implications for gig workers not just in California, but across the country.

Here’s what you need to know.

What is the current status of drivers?

In most of the country, drivers are independent contractors who are able to work for Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Instacart and others on demand. That comes with pros such as flexibility. But it also means there are no guaranteed hours or health care.

The companies have thrived on their ability to rapidly scale up their services by contracting as many workers as possible for maximum convenience, connecting an Uber passenger with a driver around the corner, for example. But they also avoid major expenses associated with an established employee base.

In California, lawmakers and a major court ruling have now classified drivers as employees. (The ruling has been appealed and a stay has been granted in the meantime, allowing Uber and Lyft to keep operating as usual.)

The gig companies have argued that the new state law known as AB5 mandating them to convert drivers to employees would harm their business models and limit access to their services. And in Uber’s case, it has argued the law should not apply at all because as a technology firm it merely connects those in search of work with opportunities.

Their combined effort to oppose driver employment is the most expensive such proposition in history, the Los Angeles Times has said.

What is Prop 22?

California Proposition 22, the App-Based Drivers as Contractors and Labor Policies Initiative, is a measure that would classify drivers as independent contractors under California state law.

It would provide workers

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Conservative group sues to block California boardroom diversity law

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A conservative legal group announced Monday that it sued to block California’s first-in-the-nation law that requires hundreds of corporations based in the state to have directors from racial or sexual minorities on their boards.

Judicial Watch claimed in the suit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court that the law is unconstitutional.

“The legislation’s requirement that certain corporations appoint a specific number of directors based upon race, ethnicity, sexual preference, and transgender status is immediately suspect and presumptively invalid and triggers strict scrutiny review by the court,” the group said.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the bill last week saying it was crucial to fighting racial injustice by giving minorities “seats at the table” of corporate power.

California already has a law requiring corporations to have at least one female director on their boards. Judicial Watch is also challenging that law in court and a trial is scheduled next summer.


The new measure cited statistics showing few of the 662 public corporations headquartered in California had Blacks or Latinos on their boards.

The measure requires at least two directors from different racial or sexual minority groups be appointed to boards with four to nine directors by the end of 2022. Three directors are required for boards with nine or more directors.

Firms that don’t comply would face fines of $100,00 for first violations and $300,000 for repeated violations.

Those who qualify would self-identify as Black, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, Native Hawaiian or Alaska Native, or as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

The lawsuit notes that a Senate analysis said the bill draws distinctions based on race and ethnicity, and therefore is “suspect.”

The group said the law is unconstitutional because the quotas don’t achieve a compelling governmental interest that is more narrowly defined than “the existence of general societal discrimination.”

Assemblyman Chris Holden, who coauthored AB 979, said research showed racial, ethnic and sexual minority groups were systematically excluded from corporate boards.

“No surprise!” Holden said in a statement about the lawsuit. “Some would rather maintain a status quo that doesn’t embrace diversity and inclusion.”

The lawsuit seeks to an order declaring it illegal to spend state funds to ensure companies comply with the law and to prevent the law from taking effect.

“California’s government has a penchant for quotas that are brazenly unconstitutional,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “Gender quotas and now new quotas for numerous other groups for corporate boards are slaps in the face to the core American value of equal protection under the law.”

Source Article

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Group sues to block California boardroom diversity law

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A conservative legal group announced Monday that it sued to block California’s first-in-the-nation law that requires hundreds of corporations based in the state to have directors from racial or sexual minorities on their boards.

Judicial Watch claimed in the suit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court that the law is unconstitutional.

“The legislation’s requirement that certain corporations appoint a specific number of directors based upon race, ethnicity, sexual preference, and transgender status is immediately suspect and presumptively invalid and triggers strict scrutiny review by the court,” the group said.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the bill last week saying it was crucial to fighting racial injustice by giving minorities “seats at the table” of corporate power.

California already has a law requiring corporations to have at least one female director on their boards. Judicial Watch is also challenging that law in court and a trial is scheduled next summer.


The new measure cited statistics showing few of the 662 public corporations headquartered in California had Blacks or Latinos on their boards.

The measure requires at least two directors from different racial or sexual minority groups be appointed to boards with four to nine directors by the end of 2022. Three directors are required for boards with nine or more directors.

Firms that don’t comply would face fines of $100,00 for first violations and $300,000 for repeated violations.

Those who qualify would self-identify as Black, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, Native Hawaiian or Alaska Native, or as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

The lawsuit notes that a Senate analysis said the bill draws distinctions based on race and ethnicity, and therefore is “suspect.”

The group said the law is unconstitutional because the quotas don’t achieve a compelling governmental interest that is more narrowly defined than “the existence of general societal discrimination.”

Assemblyman Chris Holden, who coauthored AB 979, said research showed racial, ethnic and sexual minority groups were systematically excluded from corporate boards.

“No surprise!” Holden said in a statement about the lawsuit. “Some would rather maintain a status quo that doesn’t embrace diversity and inclusion.”

The lawsuit seeks to an order declaring it illegal to spend state funds to ensure companies comply with the law and to prevent the law from taking effect.

“California’s government has a penchant for quotas that are brazenly unconstitutional,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “Gender quotas and now new quotas for numerous other groups for corporate boards are slaps in the face to the core American value of equal protection under the law.”

Source Article

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Uber, Lyft spend big in California to oppose even costlier gig-worker law

By Tina Bellon

(Reuters) – Uber Technologies Inc and Lyft Inc together are spending nearly $100 million on a November California ballot initiative to overturn a state law that would compel them to classify drivers as employees.

That sum looks less huge, however, than the potential costs of complying with the existing law, according to a Reuters analysis.

The two ride-hailing companies would each face more than $392 million in annual payroll taxes and workers’ compensation costs even if they drastically cut the number of drivers on their platforms, a Reuters calculation showed.

For a graphic on potential price hikes click here: https://tmsnrt.rs/3isaZ1q

Using a recently published Cornell University driver pay study in Seattle as a basis, Reuters calculated that each full-time driver would cost the company, on average, an additional $7,700. That includes roughly $4,560 in annual employer-based California and federal payroll taxes and some $3,140 in annual workers’ compensation insurance, which is mandated in California.

The companies say they would need to significantly hike prices to offset at least some of those additional costs, which in turn would likely cause a decrease in consumer demand, but cushion the blow of the added costs to the bottom line.

Uber and Lyft have also said they could abandon the California market – an economy that would rank fifth in the world if the state were a sovereign nation. Other U.S. states have said they plan to follow California’s lead and pass similar laws.

A “yes” vote on California’s Proposition 22 gives Uber and Lyft what they seek, which is to overturn the state’s gig-worker law, known as AB5, which took effect in January. Uber and Lyft have insisted the law does not apply to them, sparking a legal battle.

The tussle over classification of workers highlights the political and business risks facing Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and other companies that have built businesses on workers who are not classified as employees eligible for health coverage, unemployment insurance or other benefits.

Under the company-sponsored ballot measure, so-called gig workers would receive some benefits, including minimum pay, healthcare subsidies and accident insurance, but remain independent contractors not entitled to more substantial employee benefits.

POLITICAL FIGHT

The question of whether gig workers should be treated as employees has become a national issue in U.S. politics.

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris, have both voiced their strong support for California’s labor law and directly called on voters to reject the companies’ ballot proposal that would weaken it.

The campaign of U.S. President Donald Trump has not directly weighed in on the ballot measure, but the administration’s Labor Department in September published proposed rules that would standardize legal definitions across the country and provide more room for companies to maintain independent contractors. U.S. Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia criticized AB5 in an opinion piece published on Sept. 22.

California represents 9% – or roughly $1.63 billion in all of 2019 – of Uber’s global rides and food delivery

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Woke California Mandates Tokenism with New Diversity Law

Congratulations! You got this job because California progressives demand we have more diversity.”



Gavin Newsom et al. standing next to a man in a suit and tie: California Governor Gavin Newsom speaks in front of the hospital ship USNS Mercy that arrived into the Port of Los Angeles on Friday, March 27, 2020, to provide relief for Southland hospitals overwhelmed by the coronavirus pandemic. Also attending the press conference were Director Mark Ghilarducci, Cal OES, left, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, second from right, and Dr. Mark Ghaly, Secretary of Health and Human Services, far right, along with others not shown. (Photo by Carolyn Cole-Pool/Getty Images)


© Carolyn Cole-Pool/Getty
California Governor Gavin Newsom speaks in front of the hospital ship USNS Mercy that arrived into the Port of Los Angeles on Friday, March 27, 2020, to provide relief for Southland hospitals overwhelmed by the coronavirus pandemic. Also attending the press conference were Director Mark Ghilarducci, Cal OES, left, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, second from right, and Dr. Mark Ghaly, Secretary of Health and Human Services, far right, along with others not shown. (Photo by Carolyn Cole-Pool/Getty Images)

Sound offensive? It should. Yet here we are, dealing with government-mandated tokenism in the name of social justice and racial equity from the state of California. As is so often the case, this latest move amounts to condescending pandering from politicians who want to be literal white knights coming to the rescue.

Under a newly signed corporate diversity law, California-based corporations are mandated to add a member from an “underrepresented community” to their boards. This includes both self-identified racial minorities and members of the LGBTQ community, inadvertently treating every unique person, with their unique background, as equally oppressed, regardless of socio-economic background. The legislation doesn’t bother to explain why diversity serves companies. It simply demands it.

Governor Gavin Newsom is proud of this accomplishment. He shouldn’t be. In the name of diversity and inclusion, the governor isn’t just amplifying an insidious message that minorities can’t earn positions on our own. He’s turning us into props to make white progressives feel good about themselves.

As corporations eagerly adopt social justice causes like Black Lives Matter and promote racial equity training for their employees, the implication that racism is keeping boards white is hard to believe. The very text of the legislation notes only 35 percent of the state’s companies have all-white boards, suggesting corporations are diversifying with qualified candidates without government intervention. There’s no reason to believe the trend won’t continue, yet the state compels diversity anyway.

Glass Fire In Napa County, California Continues To Rapidly Expand

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Who would want to be appointed to a board the day after this bill goes into effect? Racial or sexual minorities will go from wondering if they didn’t get a job due to bigotry to wondering if they got the job due to tokenism. What a horrible feeling to have.

I wouldn’t want to be hired for being gay; I would want to earn the job. Would I be expected to declare my sexual orientation to make it easier for the hiring manager to classify me? I’d much rather avoid the awkwardness of trying to casually drop my sexuality during an interview in a way that won’t seem like I’m asking for extra diversity points. Must white men and women wear their LGBTQ status on their sleeves in order to ensure they don’t get tossed aside as a “white candidate” who wouldn’t pass diversity muster?

This is the second law of its kind

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How diverse if California government, from school board up?

Sacramento City Councilman Eric Guerra talks on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020, at his Tahoe Park home, about the struggles faced by Latino political candidates. “The importance of having a diverse electorate and even encouraging immigrants who become naturalized to run for office is that you bring a new perspective into our government,” he said.

Sacramento City Councilman Eric Guerra talks on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020, at his Tahoe Park home, about the struggles faced by Latino political candidates. “The importance of having a diverse electorate and even encouraging immigrants who become naturalized to run for office is that you bring a new perspective into our government,” he said.

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Happy Monday! We’ll find out today whether President Donald Trump really can be discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. In the meantime, where do you stand on Democratic candidate’s Joe Biden’s ads? Too soon to go negative? Or too close to Election Day to let up?

FIRST UP: Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to make a “special announcement” today at his regular Monday press conference, according to a press release from his office Sunday evening. We’ll be covering it here at SacBee.com.

TWO LAWS THAT CHANGED WHO HOLDS POWER IN CALIFORNIA

We have a special report today by The Sacramento Bee’s Kim Bojórquez looking at who holds power in California government, from the school board to the Governor’s Office. Her project, supported by the Solutions Journalism Network, takes a deep look at how two changes in state law empowered less-experienced and minority candidates to run for office.

You can join Kim Tuesday for a virtual panel we’re hosting on diversity in elected government and what it means for voting. She’ll be joined by Sen. Maria Elena Durazo, GOP political consultant Luis Alvarado, Laura Gómez of UCLA Law, Mindy Romero of the Center for Inclusive Democracy, civil rights attorney Robert Rubin and The Bee’s Marcos Breton. Here are the details.

Now here’s a preview of Kim’s report. The full piece is online here.

Deborah Ortiz felt like an underdog when she ran for a seat on the Sacramento City Council in 1993. She was the only Latina in a field of six vying for the seat opened by Joe Serna Jr., who’d just won a race for mayor.

Ortiz didn’t get support from prominent Democratic leaders or influential developers in the city, who helped fund most local races. Most were convinced city council candidate Jean Shaw-Conelly, the wife of former Assemblyman Lloyd Connelly, would win the race, she said.

“There was always a candidate they endorsed other than me,” Ortiz said.

But Ortiz came out ahead anyway, becoming the first Latina and woman of color to be elected to the city council.

Nearly three decades later, the landscape for Latino candidates is very different. Latino lawmakers represent 27 seats in the Legislature, making up about a fifth of its 120 officeholders. That’s up from six in 1990.

They’ve made gains in local offices, too, especially on school boards. A Sacramento Bee analysis shows the county’s elected school boards are increasingly diverse, with Latino trustees accounting for 22% of seats and Blacks holding 11% of seats. Those numbers are proportional to the county’s population.

Those achievements were no accident.

They followed two major

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Uber, Lyft spend big in California to oppose even costlier gig worker law

By Tina Bellon



a close up of a sign: A sign marks a rendezvous location for Lyft and Uber users at San Diego State University in San Diego


© Reuters/Mike Blake
A sign marks a rendezvous location for Lyft and Uber users at San Diego State University in San Diego

(Reuters) – Uber Technologies Inc and Lyft Inc together are spending nearly $100 million on a November California ballot initiative to overturn a state law that would compel them to classify drivers as employees.

That sum looks less huge, however, than the potential costs of complying with the existing law, according to a Reuters analysis.

The two ride-hailing companies would each face more than $392 million in annual payroll taxes and workers’ compensation costs even if they drastically cut the number of drivers on their platforms, a Reuters calculation showed.

Using a recently published Cornell University driver pay study in Seattle as a basis, Reuters calculated that each full-time driver would cost the company, on average, an additional $7,700. That includes roughly $4,560 in annual employer-based California and federal payroll taxes and some $3,140 in annual workers’ compensation insurance, which is mandated in California.

The companies say they would need to significantly hike prices to offset at least some of those additional costs, which in turn would likely cause a decrease in consumer demand, but cushion the blow of the added costs to the bottom line.

Uber and Lyft have also said they could abandon the California market – an economy that would rank fifth in the world if the state were a sovereign nation. Other U.S. states have said they plan to follow California’s lead and pass similar laws.

A “yes” vote on California’s Proposition 22 gives Uber and Lyft what they seek, which is to overturn the state’s gig worker law, known as AB5, which took effect in January. Uber and Lyft have insisted the law does not apply to them, sparking a legal battle.

The tussle over classification of workers highlights the political and business risks facing Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and numerous other companies that have built businesses on workers who are not classified as employees eligible for health coverage, unemployment insurance or other benefits.

Under the company-sponsored ballot measure, gig workers would receive some benefits, including minimum pay, healthcare subsidies and accident insurance, but remain independent contractors not entitled to more substantial employee benefits.

POLITICAL FIGHT

The question of whether so-called gig workers should be treated as employees has become a national issue in U.S. politics.

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris, have both voiced their strong support for California’s labor law and directly called on voters to reject the companies’ ballot proposal that would weaken it.

The campaign of U.S. President Donald Trump has not directly weighed in on the ballot measure, but the administration’s Labor Department in September published proposed rules that would standardize legal definitions across the country and provide more room for companies to maintain independent contractors. U.S. Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia criticized AB5 in an opinion piece published on Sept. 22.

California represents 9% – or roughly $1.63 billion

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