This is part of a series of Q&As for Mayoral and City Council candidates for the November 2020 election. Questions were submitted by Milpitas residents.
Proposition 22 allows for an exception to be made to AB5, and classifies drivers (from delivery companies or app-based transportation) as independent contractors. Do you support Proposition 22? Why or why not?
Voltaire Montemayor: In my understanding and care for workers in general, either independent contractors or employees, they both need the fair benefits such as minimum wage, overtime and worker’s comp.
Rich Tran: Support.
City Council Candidates
Evelyn Chua: Yes, I support Proposition 22. This is to protect the rights of drivers to work as independent contractors.
Julian Nool Hilario Jr.: I am in support of proposition 22. Over 1 million Californians choose to work as independent contractors with app-based ride-share, food, and grocery delivery. Proposition 22 will allow for flexible work schedules and supplement their income to provide for themselves or their family. As a frequent user of these app-based ride-shares, the countless individuals that I have spoken to like how they can still work their 8-5 job and continue to do this on the side to make additional income.
Robert Marini: I do not support proposition 22 because companies will not provide employees benefits.
Demetress Morris: Proposition 22 needs to have the support of the big companies such as Uber, lyft, and Doordash, because it helps to keep America’s entrepreneurial spirt alive with a safety net in terms of health insurance, payroll taxes, and social security. The proposition also is a huge help to those seeking additional income or desires flexibility around one’s work schedule.
Bob Nuñez: I support Proposition 22. Prior to the Pandemic, when I used app-based transportation, I would ask the drivers for their opinion and they all said this change hurt their ability to earn money for themselves and their families. They could not work the hours they needed to accommodate their personal circumstances.
Anthony Phan: Proposition 22 is an effort by corporate giants such as Lyft, Uber, and Doordash to get a permanent free pass on complying to basic fair labor standards. I will not be supporting this measure, which also happens to be the most expensive ballot initiative in our nation’s history, funded by those who have reaped billions of dollars in profits, made on the backs of working families. Ultimately, I take issue with the fact that Prop 22 does not attempt to fix a problem, but rather seeks to create an exception to the rule. Should there be reforms to clarify existing regulations regarding independent contractors? Yes, absolutely, and I’m certain these efforts will be realized in upcoming legislation, but ultimately, this was never the actual intent of this particular profit-driven initiative.
Suraj Viswanathan: I support Prop. 22 because it enables struggling working families to take on a second job with flexible scheduling to help make ends meet and feed their families during the pandemic.
Tiffany Vuong: Uber, Lyft, and Doordash are behind Proposition 22 because they want to prevent workers from getting the benefits that everyone deserves; this is a case of corporations deceiving the public in the name of profit. If Proposition 22 passes, app-based drivers and delivery workers will not be able to be considered “employees;” they will be classified as “independent contractors,” which means they are not protected by state laws around minimum wage and overtime pay. Independent contractors would be ineligible for unemployment benefits and workers’ compensation, too. According to the neutral analysis in the state voter guide, “drivers spend about one-third of their time waiting for rides and deliveries and are not paid during this time. Most drivers probably make between $11 and $16 per hour, after accounting for waiting time and driving expenses.” Everyone deserves to make a living wage and have employment protections. Don’t be fooled by the corporations. Say no to Prop 22.