Are you an employee or a contractor? Carpenters, strippers and dog walkers now face that question

Los Angeles Times

When Kristyn Hansen first took a job at Stews Barber Shop, she cut hair nine hours a day, three days a week. She earned no overtime pay, had no mandated breaks, and her Ladera Ranch bosses didn't cover Social Security taxes, unemployment or disability insurance. That's because Hansen, 32, was classified as an independent contractor. "I loved it," she recalls. The schedule allowed her to take five classes at a local college.


As more Uber drivers hit the road in California, a state lawmaker wants to try again to let them unionize

Los Angeles Times

Uber drivers are classified as independent contractors, which the company defends as accurate. A San Diego assemblywoman hopes to introduce legislation to allow them to organize and advocate for their pay and benefits while preserving their work flexibility. Uber drivers are classified as independent contractors, which the company defends as accurate. A San Diego assemblywoman hopes to introduce legislation to allow them to organize and advocate for their pay and benefits while preserving their work flexibility. High-profile lawsuits and legislation have failed to answer a question that has loomed over ride-hailing giants Uber and Lyft even as more Californians have decided to drive for the companies: Just whom do the drivers work for?


The story behind Uber's and Lyft's successes in Sacramento

Los Angeles Times

Uber and Lyft seem to be conquering California politics. In just the last month, the ride-hailing giants have secured a string of victories at the Capitol, killing or delaying legislation and regulations they didn't like and shepherding in new rules favorable to the industry. The companies are also resolving high-profile court cases that challenged how they hire drivers -- without hurting their shared core position that drivers aren't their employees. These successes come as Uber and Lyft are dominating the market in California, transporting millions of passengers each month while taxi trips are dropping precipitously. Here are four reasons why the ride-sharing companies are winning in Sacramento and what their victories might mean for their drivers and customers.


Uber and Lyft are winning at the state Capitol - here's why

Los Angeles Times

Uber and Lyft seem to be conquering California politics. In just the last month, the ride-hailing giants have secured a string of victories at the Capitol, killing or delaying legislation and regulations they didn't like and shepherding in new rules favorable to the industry. The companies are also resolving high-profile court cases that challenged how they hire drivers -- without hurting their shared core position that drivers aren't their employees. These successes come as Uber and Lyft are dominating the market in California, transporting millions of passengers each month while taxi trips are dropping precipitously. Here are four reasons why the ride-sharing companies are winning in Sacramento and what their victories might mean for their drivers and customers.


As more Uber drivers hit the road in California, a state lawmaker wants to try again to let them unionize

Los Angeles Times

High-profile lawsuits and legislation have failed to answer a question that has loomed over ride-hailing giants Uber and Lyft even as more Californians have decided to drive for the companies: Just whom do the drivers work for? Whether the drivers are company employees, independent contractors simply paid to share their cars or a new third type of worker has continued to vex lawyers and legislators, with the answer having profound implications for the workers and companies' bottom lines. Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego), who amid strong opposition last year dropped a bid to allow ride-hailing drivers and other workers in the so-called on-demand economy to organize, wants to keep focus on the issue. She hopes to author a bill that would reach the governor's desk by the end of 2018. "We have a responsibility to intervene," Gonzalez Fletcher said.