New Law Says Uber and Lyft Drivers Are Not Employees, Some Rights Are Guaranteed

Washington state’s Governor Jay Inslee signed into law a document that clarifies what Uber and Lyft drivers must know about their working situation. For now, they’re not employees. But they’ll enjoy minimum pay per ride, access to compensation, and some types of leave.
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Right now, Washington is the first and only U.S. that provides some clarity for Uber and Lyft drivers. It has been made clear that they’re not employees but contractors. This clears the air and stops any previous hassle on the matter.

This new addition doesn’t mean that drivers won’t enjoy any kind of normal benefits. The document includes sick leave, paid sick time, medical leave for family matters, and care programs that extend over longer periods of time. In addition, if someone gets injured or ill during their activity as an Uber or Lyft contractor, they’re entitled to compensation.

At the same time, drivers will enjoy some benefits like knowing the minimum pay per journey made with a client. The limit is set at $3 per trip, with the tariff being $1.17 per mile and $0.34 per minute. The only exception here is Lyft and Uber contractors from Seattle – they get $5.17 per trip, as previously decided and kept under the new law.

Another useful aspect of this new law is the one that states drivers can now appeal if they’re removed from the app. Up until now, that was close to impossible. There will be a review and a final decision, which will settle a lot of frustrations.

These changes were supported by Uber and Lyft because they made it clear that drivers who use the platforms are not employees. The Union Local 117 was also a major backer, according to Reuters, since the organization was also behind Seattle’s own regulation regarding minimum pay for rides.

Governor Jay Inslee approved the proposal that’s now become law. The only other similar regulation is found in New York City. Besides Washington, no other U.S. state has taken the time to decide what Uber and Lyft drivers can enjoy as benefits or what their working status is.


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