Ever since Uber was named in a series of scandalous events that saw the departure of its founder in 2017, the e-taxi corporation has never caught a break from hitting headlines mostly in bad light. The most recent issue is the ride-hailing app’s reluctance to play along with a workers’ rights bill that was passed yesterday in California. The bill requires employees to classify their workforce as employees instead of contractors if they meet certain conditions. However, a legal spokesman from Uber says that the company is certain that its drivers will execute their tasks just fine under their current agreement. In addition, and perhaps the single most controversial statement from Uber is that it does not consider drivers to be part of its core business.
NEWS: Uber says it will not reclassify drivers as employees in the wake of landmark California law, despite the lack of ride-hail exemption in #AB5. Lead attorney argues Uber is exempt from requirements because "drivers’ work is outside the usual course of Uber's business."
— Faiz Siddiqui (@faizsays) September 11, 2019
Now, Uber continues to believe drivers are ‘properly classified as independent’ and projects that the bill, which is expected to be signed soon will not move Uber drivers’ title from their independent contractors to employees. This is not the first time Uber is against the idea of naming their drivers as Uber employees. The argument remains the same, that it will change the foundation of the company and what e-taxi services are. Furthermore, a move to classifying them as employees will change its flexible business model that will eventually force it to introduce shifts and onboarding fewer drivers. In some cases, Uber says that the move can force it to stop services in times when demand is low.
Tony West, Uber general counsel, on independent work : https://t.co/3fD0mDrPcJ
“We’ve polled them and the overwhelming majority say they value the fact that they don’t have a boss.”
It’s always hilarious to see critics miss the entire point of workers being *independent* pic.twitter.com/2Pcy1oQK3Y
— Sar Haribhakti (@sarthakgh) August 8, 2019
Of course, it possible its assertions will not be successful in the long run in what some have termed as ‘corporate scare tactics.’ Uber is trying to fix an IPO mess that was widely publicized a few months ago. It also recorded the biggest loss in 2019’s second-quarter earnings, which forced it to fire 8 percent of its employees just the other day. However, some industry analysts project Uber can still turn things around. For instance, it is said Uber and Lyft are negotiating a deal whose specifics are yet to be revealed. Both companies are also lobbying against the bill, although it is unlikely exceptions will be added should it be signed in the coming days.