Uber, Lyft Drivers Were Paid Up to $100 to Protest Bill That Could Make Them Employees

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Fighting to stave off a bill that could force them to treat their workers as employees, Uber and Lyft last week deployed an unusual weapon: a promise of extra pay to drivers willing to lobby on their behalf.

The ride-hailing companies recruited drivers to rally outside the state Capitol on Tuesday in advance of a Senate labor hearing on the bill, Assembly Bill 5. The rally was seeking changes that would allow drivers to continue working as independent contractors while being afforded some of the protections typically reserved for employees.

Drivers who attended the rally were offered and are expected to receive $25 to $100 within five days of gathering in Sacramento to cover “travel, parking, and time,” according to an email The Times obtained. The email was sent to drivers from the I’m Independent Coalition, a group funded by the California Chamber of Commerce, along with a long list of professional associations, trade groups and on-demand companies. The coalition has been working closely alongside Uber and Lyft to call for changes to AB 5 and helped organize the Tuesday rally.

“We want to thank you again for taking time to attend the State Capitol Rally on July 9,” the email read. “Your voice had an impact and the Legislature heard loud and clear that you want to keep your flexibility and control over your work! Please expect a driver credit in the next five business days for your travel, parking, and time.”

Read the full story at LATimes.com.

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