Friday, June 1, 2018

"San Francisco to Uber, Lyft: Tell us what drivers earn"

From the San Francisco Chronicle, May 29:
Do Uber and Lyft stiff their drivers on wages?

A legal push by the ride-hailing companies’ hometown of San Francisco could lead to the drivers becoming employees rather than independent contractors.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera subpoenaed the companies on Tuesday for records of driver pay and benefits, as well as their classification as independent contractors, rather than employees. The move follows a groundbreaking California Supreme Court decision that makes it harder for companies to claim that gig workers are not employees.

“San Francisco’s laws help ensure that employers provide a fair day’s wage for a fair day's work,” Herrera said, adding that laws also guarantee 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.”

Uber declined to comment.

“Lyft has a long track record of working collaboratively with policymakers, including the S.F. City Attorney, on important issues,” said spokesman Adrian Durbin. “We look forward to helping the City Attorney’s office fully understand Lyft’s business model, including our relationship with drivers.”

Median Lyft driver earnings in San Francisco are more than $25 per hour before expenses, which typically range from $3 to $5 an hour, he said.

The city wants a complete list of drivers who worked in San Francisco since 2015 and information on their hours, wages and benefits. It seeks documentation on how they are classified and proof that those classified as independent contractors — virtually all drivers — meet the criteria set by the California Supreme Court decision....