Uber and Lyft spike on California’s Prop 22 win, but the big gig debate isn’t over yet

Wednesday, March 15, 2023 by Snacks

The Prop 22 saga… could be reaching its finale. On Monday, a California court ruled that gig companies can continue to treat their drivers as independent contractors instead of employees under Prop 22. Refresher: in 2021, a CA judge ruled that Prop 22 was unconstitutional and unenforceable, even after CA voters passed the bill. This new decision reverses that.

  • Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash shares jumped on the gig-friendly news yesterday, despite the court’s additional ruling that gig companies can’t prevent drivers from joining unions and bargaining for better conditions.

Uber by day… DoorDash by moonlight. Workers are increasingly joining the gig economy to earn extra $$. Estimates vary, but at least a tenth of the US workforce is made up of gig workers, and analysts predict hundreds of thousands more will join as inflation continues. Meanwhile, Europe expects its 28M gig workers to nearly double by 2025.

  • The gig model lets people work flexible hours and drive for several companies, but doesn’t offer full-time benefits (think: healthcare and PTO).

  • As the most populous US state, CA is a critical market for gig companies, and its latest ruling could influence gig law across the country and abroad.


The big gig debate isn’t over… Critics still don’t think Prop 22 provides critical labor protections (like: minimum wage, overtime, and health insurance). Now, many expect that the Service Employees International Union will appeal the ruling to the California Supreme Court. Meanwhile, EU lawmakers are drafting strict new gig-labor laws, which could go into effect next year.

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