The bill would allow delivery network companies and transportation network companies to offer benefits to couriers and drivers, including portable benefit accounts and insurance coverage. The legislation would also make clear that application-based drivers–including delivery network couriers and drivers for transportation network companies–are not “employees” of the delivery network companies unless the network company sets the driver’s schedule, requires the driver to accept specific requests, and restricts the driver from working for competing companies or in any other lawful business. This would protect the freedom and flexibility of independent contractors to control their hours and location of work. And by setting clear rules of the road for classification of drivers as “independent contractors” or “employees,” delivery network companies could offer benefits to attract and retain drivers without fear of being deemed an “employer” of those drivers.
This voluntary system that the legislation prescribes would address the concern that independent contractors do not have access to benefits traditionally provided by employers, while not forcing independent contractors to give up the advantages of their flexible work arrangements. It would also enable companies to continue a business model that has provided essential income to thousands of people, including those just entering the workforce, new immigrants with language barriers to traditional employment, students, and caregivers who cannot work traditional schedules.
Thank you for your consideration of our position, and we hope we can count on your support for S.B. 485 and A.B. 487.