One of the initiatives California voters are deciding this fall is Proposition 22. This initiative carves out an exception from state labor law for app-based transportation and delivery gig companies, including Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, and Instacart, allowing the companies to continue to classify their workers as independent contractors rather than employees. Labor Center chair Ken Jacobs along with Michael Reich, economics professor and co-chair of the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics, have produced several papers that examine the implications of Prop 22 compared to employee status for drivers, consumers, taxpayers, and the companies.
Future of Work & Workers
Research & Publications
In this report, we focus on trends in technology adoption in the retail sector, looking beyond the effects of the current crisis to trace how retailers are using digital technologies in ways that alter the quality and quantity of front-line retail jobs. While we recognize the pandemic’s possible impacts on the retail workplace throughout the report, the bulk of our discussion concerns longstanding trends that appear likely to continue over the next five years or longer.
New technologies in the retail sector are likely to mean more monitoring and coercion of workers, and a stronger advantage for large companies like Walmart and Amazon, according to a new report released today from the U.C. Berkeley Labor Center and Working Partnerships USA.
The Effects of Proposition 22 on Driver Earnings: Response to a Lyft-Funded Report by Dr. Christopher Thornberg
Thornberg over-estimates driver gross earnings (before expenses) based on data that is not representative of drivers in California. He also underestimates driver costs. In doing so, he significantly overstates what drivers earn on net now, and would earn under Proposition 22.
This report examines the drivers of technological change in the U.S. health care industry and explores how technologies may be used in response to the challenges facing the industry over the next five to 10 years. We also assess how technological change in health care may affect health care workers, who represent 12% of total employment in the United States—around 18 million workers.
September 3, 2020
Change and Uncertainty, Not Apocalypse: Technological Change and Store-Based Retail
October 9, 2020
Customers Still Like to Shop in Person, Even if They Get Only to the Curb
June 23, 2020
Technological Change in Health Care Delivery
June 8, 2020
COVID-19 and Technology at Work
October 22, 2019
The Future of Warehouse Work: Technological Change in the U.S. Logistics Industry
Uber, Lyft, AB5, and Prop 22
October 19, 2020
Labor Center research and Proposition 22
September 24, 2020
Fact check: Will Uber, Lyft drivers get paid less than minimum wage under Proposition 22?
June 29, 2020
Uber Rides Cost More? OK
May 7, 2020
What would Uber and Lyft owe to the State Unemployment Insurance Fund?
October 31, 2019
The Uber/Lyft Ballot Initiative Guarantees only $5.64 an Hour
“This is a really important battle. We’ll see it spread to other industries. It’s not just an issue in California. It has huge implications for labour – more of a race to the bottom by taking away worker protections through outsourcing and subcontracting.”
Much of gig work is spent waiting for a job in the app. UC Berkeley’s Labor Center did a study where they tried to take time between rides into account, along with wear and tear on the vehicle. Adding those factors in the mix, the study found the wage guarantee drops to just $5.64 an hour.
Drivers are only compensated when they’re fulfilling a ride request, not when they’re waiting for one, [so] the actual average pay for total time spent in the car is only $5.64 per hour.
Reich and Jacobs say the studies backed by Uber and Lyft underestimate costs like gas, vehicle damage and car-value depreciation, in part because those studies discount expenses incurred outside of engaged time.