Uber and Lyft step up lobbying efforts in California and nationwide

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Uber and Lyft have stepped up their lobbying power in recent years as they face a potential death blow in California with State Assembly Bill 5, which went into effect in January and requires carpool giants to reclassify their independent contractors as employees.

Uber and Lyft initially resisted the law saying it did not apply to them, but a judge ruled on Aug. 10 that companies must classify their contract drivers as employees with full benefits, such as l ‘health insurance, worker’s compensation and paid. sick days.

Executives at Uber and Lyft said they would have to shut down traffic in California as a result, but an appeals court granted the companies a temporary stay on Thursday by extending the deadline to comply with the order to next Tuesday.

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Last year, when House Bill 5 was debated in California Congress, Uber and Lyft spent seven personalities each to lobby the state of California, according to a report by OpenSecrets, a branch of the Nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics.

Both companies have also turned to the federal government.

Uber spent $ 2.36 million lobbying the federal government in 2019, according to data from OpenSecrets, and is on track to spend that much this year – already spending $ 1.2 million on lobbying up to present in 2020.

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Uber currently has 39 deployed lobbyists, 33 of which are “guns” – people who used to work for the government but now work for lobbying firms.

Lyft spent less than Uber last year, spending just $ 930,000 on lobbying. But the company has already nearly exceeded that amount this year, spending $ 760,000 on lobbying so far in 2020.

Carpool giants may have to invest even more of their money in lobbying if Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden wins in November.

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The former vice president has consistently expressed support for California’s AB5 bill and says he would like to see a national version.

One bill that could upend the so-called “odd-job economy” is the PRO Act, or “Protect the Right to Organize”. The bill, which passed in the House of Representatives in February, would revise “the definition of the terms ’employee’ and ‘supervisor’ to prevent employers from classifying employees as exempt from labor law protections.” Uber and Lyft have both lobbied against this bill.

One bill that Uber and Lyft have lobbied for is the NEW GIG Act, or “New Economy Works to Guarantee Independence and Growth Act”. The bill would establish federal guidelines for determining whether or not a service provider should be classified as a full employee or an independent contractor.

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