Corporations-Backed Massachusetts Gig Employee Poll Measure Clears Key Hurdle | Investing Information

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BOSTON (Reuters) -Massachusetts’ lawyer common on Wednesday gave backers of a proposed poll measure, which might outline drivers for app-based firms like Uber Applied sciences Inc and Lyft Inc as impartial contractors quite than staff, the inexperienced mild to gather the signatures wanted to place it earlier than voters.

Massachusetts Legal professional Basic Maura Healey licensed that the measure met constitutional necessities, clearing the best way for a coalition of app-based service suppliers backing the initiative to start gathering the tens of hundreds of signatures wanted to get the proposal onto the November 2022 poll.

Her determination got here regardless of a lawsuit that Healey, a Democrat, filed difficult the designations by Uber and Lyft of their drivers as contractors not entitled to advantages like a minimal wage, time beyond regulation and earned sick time.

It was amongst 17 of 30 proposed poll measures that Healey licensed. The union-backed Coalition to Defend Staff’ Rights urged Healey to reject the measure as unconstitutional and is contemplating suing to problem the measure, stated its director, Mike Firestone.

The Massachusetts Coalition for Unbiased Work, whose members embody Uber, Lyft, DoorDash Inc and Instacart Inc, final month proposed asking voters to declare their drivers impartial contractors entitled to minimal advantages however not their staff.

The proposal would set up an earnings flooring equal to 120% of the Massachusetts minimal wage for app-based ride-share and supply drivers, or $18 an hour in 2023, earlier than ideas. Drivers can be assured no less than 26 cents per mile to cowl car maintenance and gasoline.

Trip-share and supply community firms can be required to pay healthcare stipends if drivers work no less than 15 hours per week. Drivers may additionally earn paid sick time and paid household and medical depart.

The Massachusetts proposal adopted an analogous measure final 12 months in California, the place the businesses persuaded state voters to solidify ride-hail and meals supply employees’ standing as impartial contractors with some advantages.

Nonetheless, a California choose on Aug. 23 dominated that that measure, generally known as Proposition 22, violated the state’s structure.

(Reporting by Nate Raymond in BostonEditing by Jonathan Oatis and Matthew Lewis)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.

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