Have you ever taken a ride using the Lyft app? There’s a chance I drove you.
I’ve worked in the gig economy for over four years, mostly as a Lyft driver. I started driving to make money during my hour-long commute to work. When I lost my full time job, Lyft became my primary source of income.
This week, California’s governor, Gavin Newsom – a darling of tech capitalists – signed Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) into law. The bill codifies the “ABC test” to determine the applicability of California employment laws and makes it harder for companies to get away with misclassifying workers as independent contractors. If properly enforced, AB5 will have enormous impacts for vulnerable workers in the trucking, janitorial and construction industries.
Uber just filed its first quarterly report as a publicly traded company. Although it lost $1bn, investors may still do well because the losses appear to be declining.
Uber drivers, on the other hand, aren’t doing well. According to a recent study, about half of New York’s Uber drivers are supporting families with children, yet 40% depend on Medicaid and another 18% on food stamps.