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Massachusetts Gig Worker Ballot Measure Clears Key Hurdle

 |  September 1, 2021

Massachusetts’ attorney general on Wednesday, September 1, gave backers of a proposed ballot measure, which would define drivers for app-based companies like Uber Technologies and Lyft as independent contractors rather than employees, the green light to collect the signatures needed to put it before voters.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey certified that the measure met constitutional requirements, clearing the way for a coalition of app-based service providers backing the initiative to begin collecting the tens of thousands of signatures needed to get the proposal onto the November 2022 ballot.

Her decision came despite a lawsuit that Healey, a Democrat, filed challenging the designations by Uber and Lyft of their drivers as contractors not entitled to benefits like a minimum wage, overtime and earned sick time.

It was among 17 of 30 proposed ballot measures that Healey certified. The union-backed Coalition to Protect Workers’ Rights urged Healey to reject the measure as unconstitutional and is considering suing to challenge the measure, said its director, Mike Firestone.

The Massachusetts Coalition for Independent Work, whose members include Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, and Instacart, last month proposed asking voters to declare their drivers independent contractors entitled to minimum benefits but not their employees.

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