Prop 22 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 and economics professor Michael Reich have produced several papers that examine the implications of Prop 22 compared to employee status for drivers, consumers, taxpayers, and the companies.
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.
The COVID-19 crisis that hit the world and the United States has resulted in profound changes to our way of life. While this paper focuses on workers and economic effects, we note that the crisis is foremost one of a pandemic. The economic situation is a byproduct. Public policy and investment will largely determine our rates of sickness, death and economic pain.
November 18, 2020
Walmart and McDonald’s have the most workers on food stamps and Medicaid, new study shows
October 19, 2020
Labor Center research and Proposition 22
May 7, 2020
What would Uber and Lyft owe to the State Unemployment Insurance Fund?
April 10, 2020
Industries at Direct Risk of Job Loss from COVID-19 in California: A Profile of Front-Line Job and Worker Characteristics
October 31, 2019
The Uber/Lyft Ballot Initiative Guarantees only $5.64 an Hour
Resources on COVID-19
- June 16, 2020 COVID-19: Local Labor Standard Policies in California
- April 6, 2020 COVID-19: Resources on Federal and State Policy and Assistance
- April 6, 2020 COVID-19: Understanding Federal Legislation
Economists at the University of California at Berkeley Labor Center crunched the numbers and included other costs, like the time when drivers must wait to be matched with a rider. They concluded drivers’ actual wage to be closer to $5.64 per hour.
Millions of U.S Workers for Walmart, McDonald’s and Other Corporate Giants Rely on Food Stamps and Medicaid
The new GAO report echoes the conclusions of similar studies by the University of California, Berkeley Labor Center in 2013 and 2015, which found that U.S. taxpayers are subsidizing large corporations to the tune of $153 billion per year in the form of public assistance programs to support their low-wage employees.
A Berkeley Labor Center study found Prop 22 would net ride-hail and delivery drivers a minimum wage of $5.64 an hour—California’s minimum wage is $12 an hour.
A sizable number of the recipients of federal aid programs such as Medicaid and food stamps are employed by some of the biggest and more profitable companies in the United States, chief among them Walmart and McDonald’s.