Any unemployment benefits for WA drivers during corona virus outbreak?

tipster98122

Well-Known Member
Opening this thread to share info on obtaining unemployment benefits.

I seem to remember a few years ago that a few drivers in another state applied for, and received, unemployment benefits.

Has any driver had that experience here in WA?
 

tipster98122

Well-Known Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3
Elaborate, please.
No, as you haven't had that experience?
No, as you tried but you were denied?
No, as no drivers can?
No, as you're speaking for all drivers and none of them have had that experience?
 

Dammit Mazzacane

Well-Known Member
My loose understanding is that because we are independent business owners, we cannot get unemployment from the entities we contract with, which are Uber and Lyft and Wingz and whoever.
 

Diesel Driver

Active Member
This blurb was in the Seattle Times site this morning:


Some Uber, Lyft, taxi drivers request economic support during coronavirus outbreak

Some drivers for taxis and ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft have sent a letter to Seattle, King County, Washington state and national leaders requesting economic relief during the novel coronavirus outbreak.
In a letter from Teamsters Local 117, drivers who are members are making the following requests:
  • That drivers receive up to $1,000 per week in emergency income stabilization, plus suspension of fees drivers pay to operate under the service
  • That drivers receive rent and mortgage assistance; that drivers in need receive and emergency food assistance; that authorities halt evictions and do not shut off utilities
  • That Uber and Lyft eliminate all commissions on trips and suspend surge pricing during the state of emergency
“We appreciate the effort state and local elected leaders are taking to respond to this crisis, but we can’t allow drivers at the front lines to fall through the cracks,” said Joshua Welter, a union representative for Teamsters Local 117, in a news call.
Uber and Lyft drivers are classified by the companies as independent contractors, not employees, meaning they do not receive company-provided health insurance nor paid sick leave.
“This month I was able to pay my rent, next month I don’t know,” said Uber driver Ubah Dahraan.

—Michelle Baruchman
 

BobbyMcgee

Active Member
This blurb was in the Seattle Times site this morning:


Some Uber, Lyft, taxi drivers request economic support during coronavirus outbreak

Some drivers for taxis and ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft have sent a letter to Seattle, King County, Washington state and national leaders requesting economic relief during the novel coronavirus outbreak.
In a letter from Teamsters Local 117, drivers who are members are making the following requests:
  • That drivers receive up to $1,000 per week in emergency income stabilization, plus suspension of fees drivers pay to operate under the service
  • That drivers receive rent and mortgage assistance; that drivers in need receive and emergency food assistance; that authorities halt evictions and do not shut off utilities
  • That Uber and Lyft eliminate all commissions on trips and suspend surge pricing during the state of emergency
“We appreciate the effort state and local elected leaders are taking to respond to this crisis, but we can’t allow drivers at the front lines to fall through the cracks,” said Joshua Welter, a union representative for Teamsters Local 117, in a news call.
Uber and Lyft drivers are classified by the companies as independent contractors, not employees, meaning they do not receive company-provided health insurance nor paid sick leave.
“This month I was able to pay my rent, next month I don’t know,” said Uber driver Ubah Dahraan.

—Michelle Baruchman
Thanks for information post.
 

BobbyMcgee

Active Member
I was waiting on hold for over 2 hours today wait In for an IRS employee to pick up. At end got recorded message they were experiencing technical difficulties and had to end the call which they did.

Try again tomorrow to reach a human being.
 

Leo.

Well-Known Member
This blurb was in the Seattle Times site this morning:


Some Uber, Lyft, taxi drivers request economic support during coronavirus outbreak

Some drivers for taxis and ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft have sent a letter to Seattle, King County, Washington state and national leaders requesting economic relief during the novel coronavirus outbreak.
In a letter from Teamsters Local 117, drivers who are members are making the following requests:
  • That drivers receive up to $1,000 per week in emergency income stabilization, plus suspension of fees drivers pay to operate under the service
  • That drivers receive rent and mortgage assistance; that drivers in need receive and emergency food assistance; that authorities halt evictions and do not shut off utilities
  • That Uber and Lyft eliminate all commissions on trips and suspend surge pricing during the state of emergency
“We appreciate the effort state and local elected leaders are taking to respond to this crisis, but we can’t allow drivers at the front lines to fall through the cracks,” said Joshua Welter, a union representative for Teamsters Local 117, in a news call.
Uber and Lyft drivers are classified by the companies as independent contractors, not employees, meaning they do not receive company-provided health insurance nor paid sick leave.
“This month I was able to pay my rent, next month I don’t know,” said Uber driver Ubah Dahraan.

—Michelle Baruchman
Wtf I love Seattle now.
 

Phill

Well-Known Member
Thanks for your contribution.
The short answer is indeed "no".

An article I recently read (i'll link to it if I can find it again) said that you can apply but that the complicated situation would likely lead to a rejection of benefits which you can appeal however the appeal process could take months and would force an administrative law judge to make a ruling on if you are or are not an employee as defined by state and federal law. A ruling that an ALJ is not likely to make so as not to set precedence opening the door to a flood of other drivers. If they did rule in your favor Uber would likely hold up the ruling in court for 2-3 years until they settled with you for $5.

So no... you're not an employee but you are welcome to apply as one and face denial. At this point you have nothing to loose.
Post automatically merged:

The short answer is indeed "no".

An article I recently read (i'll link to it if I can find it again) said that you can apply but that the complicated situation would likely lead to a rejection of benefits which you can appeal however the appeal process could take months and would force an administrative law judge to make a ruling on if you are or are not an employee as defined by state and federal law. A ruling that an ALJ is not likely to make so as not to set precedence opening the door to a flood of other drivers. If they did rule in your favor Uber would likely hold up the ruling in court for 2-3 years until they settled with you for $5.

So no... you're not an employee but you are welcome to apply as one and face denial. At this point you have nothing to loose.
Found it: https://www.seattletimes.com/seattl...rus-outbreak-and-theres-little-help-in-sight/

Relevant quote: "Drivers’ status as independent contractors has been challenged in lawsuits all over the country with mixed results. New Jersey found last year Uber had misclassified its drivers and owed millions in back taxes for unemployment. Washington has not made a similar, sweeping finding.

Still, Nick Demerice, a spokesman for the Employment Security Department, said the department encourages anyone to apply for unemployment benefits.

'Everyone’s circumstances are different,' Demerice said. 'We try to avoid blanket statements that these workers are [qualified] and these aren’t.'"
 

tipster98122

Well-Known Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #15
Yes! Uber/Lyft drivers will be eligible for unemployment benefits if WA State can get designation as natural disaster.
This designation would open up unemployment funds to gig workers.

To read the story and to listen to the update with Washington State’s Employment Security Department Commissioner Suzi LeVine:
 

Ballard_Driver

Well-Known Member
I had read that as well... The fact that it covers contract workers is awesome. That shit needs to get accepted everywhere, otherwise there are going to be a TON of problems nationwide. Regular employees are mostly enjoying a paid vacation right now, sometimes at reduced incomes... But they have something coming through the door. Contract employees are a LOT more than just gig workers too. So it's a major thing that needs to be dealt with. If I get half my regular income from Government Cheese program of some sort I'll be happy.
 

tipster98122

Well-Known Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #17
The President approves Inslee's emergency declaration but “The president’s action makes federal funding available for crisis counseling for affected individuals in all areas in the State of Washington.”

So, not enough to free up funds for gig workers to receive benefits yet. But, things change daily.

 

BobbyMcgee

Active Member
The President approves Inslee's emergency declaration but “The president’s action makes federal funding available for crisis counseling for affected individuals in all areas in the State of Washington.”

So, not enough to free up funds for gig workers to receive benefits yet. But, things change daily.

Darn. Thought we get money by that action.
 
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