San Francisco has had enough of ride-sharing companies’ disregard of California’s work laws and is now going after them. This week, San Francisco Attorney’s office sent subpoenas both to Uber and Lyft demanding their files about their drivers’ pay, benefits, and whether they consider workers, employees, or independent contractors.
Dennis Herrera, San Francisco’s attorney, wants “proof that any driver classified as an independent contractor meets all three criteria set by the California Supreme Court.”
The ruling states that companies such as Uber that want to classify workers as independent contractors have to prove they are not under their direct control, do not perform a core function of their business, and are engaged in an independent company.
“Our laws also guarantee employees basic humane benefits like sick leave, health care, and paid parental leave. We are not going to turn a blind eye if companies in San Francisco deny workers their pay and benefits,” said Herrera in the Attorney’s Office press release about the subpoenas. “We are not going to tolerate any company shirking its responsibility to pay for benefits and shifting that burden onto taxpayers when drivers without health insurance turn to the emergency room. If your company is valued at $62 billion, you can afford to give your workers health care.”
Lyft told Engadget that the company has a “long track record of working with policymakers and that it was eager to help the City Attorney fully understand its business model.” Lyft also highlighted that Lyft drivers make $25 per hour before expenses, which reportedly run between $3 and $4 per hour.
Uber hasn’t made a statement yet.
According to the press release what, the subpoenas seeks is:
-A complete list of drivers who began or ended at least one ride in San Francisco from 2015 to the present;
-Documentation showing whether the company classifies those drivers as an employee or an independent contractor for purposes of San Francisco and/or California law;
-Documentation of hours, wages, healthcare payments, and other benefits for drivers classified as employees;
-Proof that any driver classified as an independent contractor meets all three criteria set by the California Supreme Court.