AB5 is Wrong — Uber is Right


AB 5 is Clearly, Entirely Wrong – Uber and Lyft are Clearly Right

Friends, we should spend our time fighting battles that need to be fought, not making a fuss over problems that aren’t really problems.

California enacted AB5 at the beginning of this year.  Basically, this new law would make it impossible for anyone to be considered a 1099 employee (independent contractor) in the State.  To get this done, California has put together a new test of the relationship between a company and a person to determine if they the person should be considerd an employee or not. Let’s skip, quickly, to California’s answer to this test – NOT.

California, you’ve got too much time on your hands.  Seriously, you should consider getting a job driving for Uber or Lyft in your spare time.  You would, at least, be doing something that would be truly helpful for your constituents.  Uber and Lyft provide a very, very valuable service.  Please, let’s not mess with something that is working this well.

The existing independent contractor law has been up and running for decades.  When a person (or class of people) is misclassified as an independent contractor, the existing regulatory agencies and the courts step in to right things. It isn’t a perfect system, but in general, it is working. There is nothing really broken that can’t be properly redressed with existing law on the books.

Uber and Lyft employees are the very definition of independent contractors (1099 employees).  They set their own start and end times.  They decide when they are available.  They buy and bring their own equipment.  They choose the routes they take. 

Uber and Lyft merely provide them with customers.  At best, it is a referral/marketing agreement. Uber and Lyft provide referrals and get paid for doing that.   

The result – drivers are making the extra money that they need.  Additionally, for those old enough to remember having to wait long periods of time to get a cab, then riding in the back of a dirty vehicle, often in questionable mechanic condition, driven by a smoker, who blasted the radio, while talking on their cell phone, driving too fast and precariously weaving in and out of traffic, you will know that Uber and Lyft have raised competitive standards in the industry.

Word on the street is that there is even a movement to bring AB5 to federal statutes. 

Let’s not do that friends, please.  With Covid-19, we have got enough to keep us busy.  We don’t need another big, government caused mess.  Stop and think through the real ramifications to passing a law like this.  Honestly, it is earth shattering.

Just so you know, I consider myself a fiscal conservative and a liberal.  I want a progressive government that does smart things, efficiently and effectively.  Trust me, government has a long, long way to go to fix what it already has on the books. Let’s please not add to the crushing amount of legislation, poorly regulated and enforced, we currently have. 

Instead, let’s spend our time and effort ensuring equal representation and fair treatment for all those who reside in the US, without regard to color, race, creed, national origin, etc. Let’s deal with the major issues first California.