Why I Voted ‘Yes’ on Prop 22

The one with the California Gig Economy…

Adrian Eaton


The only proposition where I disagree with the ACLU voter guide is Prop 22 — the most recent legalese that will decide whether gig workers should be classified as independent contractors or full employees.

A vote “No” will classify gig workers as full employees if they’re critical to the businesses’ operations. In other words: if you’re a driver for a driving company, you should be an employee rather than an independent contractor. And along with that new definition, you should receive minimum wage protection and health insurance benefits that full employees receive.

A vote “Yes” will classify gig workers as independent contractors. This means gig workers would not receive any of the benefits of full employees. But they would maintain the autonomy and flexibility that comes with independent contractorship.

It’s no secret that a few, very powerful companies are dumping money into this proposition. Rather than actually spending money on higher wages for their drivers, Uber + Lyft + DoorDash + Postmates combined to spend over $100M on writing this proposition — trying to convince people to vote “Yes” on Prop 22.

That got me pretty concerned. Usually I’m against Big Tech buying a ticket into the Above The Law club. I don’t believe that these highly-funded, profitless companies should be rewarded for evading the law, but…

Here’s why I voted “Yes” anyways:

The gig economy refers to an enormous amount of work, far beyond the rideshare companies currently hogging the spotlight. In pursuit of punishing a few specific bad actors, the CA government made sweeping changes that harm the entire gig economy.

Taking a quick step back: a new law took effect this year, ordering companies to reclassify gig workers as “proper” employees. Under the new law, all workers are considered employees by default, and companies must prove that they’re actually independent contractors by administering the “ABC Test” (more on this below).

In my opinion, this law itself is problematic. The new law targets well-funded companies (like Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Postmates, etc…) who can easily avoid compliance and challenge