The government has been busy lately trying to get things pushed through. We've seen in the past few days the Infrastructure bill and Budget Reconciliation stuff go through the Senate.
One of the things that's been a priority for Democrats has been the PRO Act. Protecting the Right to Organize. One of the things the act does is implement the ABC test that was the heart of California's AB5, and the ABC test would then determine classification of employee verses independent contractor for purposes of labor laws. If it's passed and stands up to court challenges, PRO Act could force Doordash, Uber, Grubhub, Lyft and other gig companies to hire employees rather than employees.
Steve Johnson of UberLyftDrivers.com joins us to talk about employment, being an independent contractor, the repercussions of being an employee, and whether Pro Act has a chance of passing. Steve has had several guests on his Rideshare Rodeo podcast and shares insights he's gained from his many conversations on the topic.
Additional reading on PRO Act
AB5 and Prop 22: A listing of articles about California's AB5 which implemented the ABC Test, and about Prop 22, the ballot initiative that exempted gig platforms from AB5.
What is PRO Act?Driver App Londonis a blog by Mourad, a frequent guest on Steve's podcast. Later in the episode Steve talks about how some places in Europe are a step ahead of where they are in the US including an app worker designation.
What we talk about in today's episode:
The following was the general outline we attempted to follow. Things may have gone a little out of order here and there.
Steve talks about his gig economy background, how his website and podcast got started, and then talks about the different guests he's had on his podcast to talk about PRO Act (guests both in favor of and against the legislation).
Employment verses Independent Contractors
Why is this even important? What is there to lose if we are employees?
What is PRO Act and how does that impact things?
What is the ABC test from California's AB5 and that is now part of PRO Act? How does that compare to the current IRS test
Doordash, Uber, Lyft, Grubhub and others as bad actors
Part of the problem does lie in the way gig companies treat their contractors. Is there exploitation of the independent contractor model by these companies? How do their actions contribute to how some want to force a change?
Can PRO Act be passed into law?
PRO Act is stalled right now. Does that mean that it's safe? What kind of things can lead to it passing?
Is there a better alternative?
Is forcing gig companies to hire employees the only answer? Is there a better way to handle the bad acting of gig companies?