Currently in California, a proposition is set to be voted on this November 3rd which could change the course of labor rights through out the United States.
*New Law proposed in California seeks to eliminate Employment AND Independent Contracting rights of GIG workers.
*GIG/APP companies UBER, LYFT and DOORDASH raise over $180 MILLION dollars in lobbying funds to promote Proposition 22.
*If passed, Proposition 22 would create a new Indentured labor class that could spread to other US states.
There are still many arguments as to what a GIG economy worker is and what defines them as such but TWO aspects of the title are true in all it’s forms that exist today:
1- The service or product provided is arranged with the customer exclusively through a phone app or online order..
2- The person providing the product or service to the customer and the customer purchasing the product or service maintains an indemnity contract as well as a Limitation of Liability agreement with the business actually providing the product for sale or service through a phone app or online order that is completed to the customer by a person or group acting as a third party provider.
*Typically an Indemnity contract alone, includes terms that would fully cover any accident, negligence or lack of oversight on the part of the business providing the product or service.
This is not the case with app-based companies such as Uber, Lyft, Doordash, Instacart or Postmates where the agreements on Limitation of liability extend the right of the company providing the product or service to dump incidental costs, insurance and damages on the Customer and driver for virtually any reason, even it the fault is with the company itself.
This is where GIG economy companies have added to their method of doing business a form of Indenture that forces the worker/provider and even the customer in a agreements that sacrifice safety and freedom from false incrimination.
Indentured labor is a method of keeping employees or servants in your employ without regard to their rights, fair pay or responsible employer/worker relations.
For many centuries it was used by monarchies and even early Industrial American companies as a means of using cheap labor or maintaining a system of Slavery justified through contracted debt and servitude.
Indentured labor always relies on an agreement or contract between the employer and the worker that grants unreasonable rights to the employer.
These types of agreements that include a limitation of liability WITH and indemnity contract agreement can be found in another form of third party provider based business known as Multi Level marketing companies (AKA, Pyramid Scams).
The LuLaRoe Pyramid Scam, which was recently fined $95,000 for deceptive marketing, uses Limitation of Liability and Indemnity terms in it’s contract agreement with Customers and “partners” that are virtually Identical to those use by GIG- economy companies.
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6. Disclaimers; Limitation of Liability; Indemnity.Source- https://www.uber.com/legal/en/document/?country=united-states&lang=en&name=general-terms-of-use – 1–11-2020
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These same terms exist in the customer and partner/worker agreements for:
A new Law establishing a new means of classifying workers is only the next step in this same deceptive and fraudulent manner of doing business.
The ten most basic rights an Independent contractor has:
- Right to a Contract – Currently GIG workers mustsubmit to a contract given to them rather than making their own.
- Right to Control – Currently GIG workers must submit to fraudulent terms that can be changed at the whim of the company they work for without any reasonable or fair application for the changes.
- Right to Make Decisions – Currently GIG workers have no choice in the changes to their contracting or demands made by the apps they provide services through.
- Right to Work When You Want – Currently this is NOT available to GIG workers as they can not avoid SURGE schemes which only happen at certain times of day and ONLY in certain geo-specific areas as designated by the APP company.
- Right to Work Where You Want – Again this falls under the demand of the GIG/APP company which creates a selective market the worker can not avoid when trying to provide services.
- Right to Advertise – GIG workers Can not advertise outside of the promotions, offers and adds produced by the GIG/APP company they work for. They can attempt to provide signs, posters or cards to customers but they must always submit to the direction of jobs assigned by the GIG/APP company exclusively.
- Right to Receive Payment – GIG workers must submit only to the payment terms of the GIG/APP company. They can not exclusively take cash or use a credit card provider of their own. This eliminates their fair right to receive payments any way they see fit.
- Right to Work with Other Contractors – This again is a right GIG workers DO NOT have. They can not provide the same services for another business or provider unless of course it is another GIG company on yet another fraudulent indentured contract.
- Right to Challenge Your Employment Status – This is something that GIG workers are attempting in states like California. However if Proposition 22 passes, they will no longer have the right to argue it or argue for better rights in any future situation with the GIG/APP company.
- Right to Manage Your Own Business – This is another right that GIG workers do not have as they have signed these rights over to the GIG/APP company in an indentured and fraudulent agreement..
Not a single term or statute implied by Proposition 22 would grant these rights. Rather it would ensure that GIG economy companies NEVER have to grant them to their workers.
As gig workers, GIG companies, Legislators and Unions argue over the stigmas of the GIG economy, it is important to examine the basic rights of those involved and effects that these businesses have already had on the economy and labor in general.
Uber and Lyft currently maintain IPOs (stocks) that have traded below their opening values for over a year now. Their business models ARE NOT working without the adage of defrauding customers and their own workers.
Promises for safer business practices, better background checks, more driver pay and better working conditions have gone repeatedly unanswered and unresolved by GIG economy companies for over seven years now.
Without a resolution that would, at the very least, grant drivers an actual chance AND CHOICE in the matter of wages, the other issues infesting the operations of GIG economy companies will continue to go unresolved as well.
Voting NO on Proposition 22 is California’s chance to end this method of fraud and corporate welfare before it can do more damage.