Gig companies want Massachusetts voters to exempt workers from employee status.

A coalition of gig economy companies, including Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and Instacart, said Wednesday that it had submitted to Massachusetts a ballot proposal that could create a new class of workers in the federal government. If the coalition is successful, Massachusetts voters will decide next year whether gig workers should be considered independent contractors.

Gig worker employment classifications have been the subject of legal struggles in some states. Labor activists argue that companies like Uber do not pay workers fair wages and lack costs, medical care and unemployment benefits. Both companies say employees are too flexible to be considered employees. last year, Massachusetts sues Uber and LyftClaims that they misclassified the driver as an independent contractor. The proceedings are ongoing.

A group of gig companies called the Massachusetts Independent Labor Union has proposed exempting gig workers from being classified as employees, such as a minimum wage of $ 18 per hour spent transporting riders and delivering food. , Offers some limited benefits.

“This is the best of both worlds,” said DoorDash courier Pam Bennett in a statement provided by the coalition. “This measure helps all drivers by maintaining their ability to work the way they like at all times, and also provides access to all-new benefits that really help.”

The ballot proposal reflects the initiative the company proposed in California last year. The two companies have invested $ 200 million in California voting initiatives, making it the most costly effort in state history and ultimately succeeding in exempting workers from California law, which effectively classifies them as employees.

“They are trying to get this voting bill by deceiving the public that it will somehow benefit the workers,” said Shannon Liss-Riodan, a labor lawyer representing Gig Workers in Massachusetts. .. “It will take away their responsibilities under Massachusetts law and substitute for these fake interests.”

The efforts at Massachusetts are due to the growing scrutiny of the Biden administration for Uber and other companies that rely on gig workers. Which one before This year Roll back the rules of the Trump era It probably classified the gig worker as an independent contractor.

Gig companies want Massachusetts voters to exempt workers from employee status.

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