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Lobby Group Backed By Uber, Lyft Pushes Gig Worker Ballot

 |  August 4, 2021

A coalition of app-based companies, including Uber Technologies, Lyft, and DoorDash, on Wednesday, August 4, took the first step to put a measure before Massachusetts voters that would define their drivers as independent contractors entitled to minimum benefits but avoid having them declared their employees.

If placed on the ballot next year, the proposal could make Massachusetts the epicenter for an expensive fight over the legal rights of gig workers, after a heated battle in California ended last year with voters cementing their contractor status.

The proposal is part of the gig industry’s efforts to change labor law and enshrine their workers’ status as independent contractors across the US, with the potential for regulation by the Biden administration looming.

The Massachusetts Coalition for Independent Work, whose members include Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, and Instacart, filed the proposal with the state’s attorney general, who must certify whether the proposed question meets constitutional requirements.

That attorney general is Maura Healey, a Democrat who last year sued to challenge the designations by Uber and Lyft of their drivers as contractors not entitled to benefits like a minimum wage, overtime and earned sick time.

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