1. UberPeople.NET - Independent community of rideshare drivers. It's FREE to be a person and enjoy all the benefits of membership. Sign-up HERE!

OBAMA admins creating a new labor category for Uber/Lyft drivers: "independent WORKERS"

Discussion in 'Los Angeles & Orange County' started by Maga&dan, Jan 13, 2017.

  1. Maga&dan

    Maga&dan

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/arti...forcer-won-t-hail-an-uber-over-workers-status

    Obama’s Wage Enforcer Won’t Hail an Uber Over Workers’ Status
    by Josh Eidelson
    January 12, 2017, 2:00 AM PST

    President Barack Obama’s outgoing wage and hour enforcement chief says fellow Democrats who want to revamp labor laws to accommodate the gig economy are making a big mistake.

    “If your business model is unsustainable and incompatible with basic notions of what we do as a matter of law, then you’ve got a problem with your business model,” David Weil, administrator of the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, said in an interview. Too much of the policy conversation about the “future of work,” he says, amounts to companies seeking to cut corners –- which is nothing new.

    As app-based driver service companies like Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. have grown in recent years, so has the number of legal disputes over whether the workers providing their services are independent contractors, as the companies contend, or employees whom federal and state laws promise rights such as minimum wage and collective bargaining.

    Weil says he personally doesn’t use Uber because of its treatment of workers as contractors.

    Uber’s head of federal affairs Niki Christoff said that two-thirds of Uber drivers have multiple jobs, and the vast majority choose Uber in order “to be their own boss and set their own schedule.”

    New Deal
    "We believe the law is clear that people who choose to drive with Lyft are independent contractors," Adrian Durbin, Lyft’s director of communications, said. "They choose when, where and for how long they drive, and all of them tell us that this flexibility is what they value most."

    Some industry leaders and politicians from both parties have urged that New Deal-era labor laws be changed in ways that would make it easier for the firms to keep treating those workers as non-employees, putting an end to the tussling while paving the way for those workers to get benefits like paid time off.

    Seth Harris, Obama’s former acting secretary of Labor who is now with law firm Denton’s, teamed up with another Obama alum, former Council of Economic Advisers chairman Alan Krueger, to propose an intermediate category of “independent workers” who would get some employee perks like payroll-tax contributions from their bosses, but not others like overtime protection.

    Weil, whose office enforces the current laws against shortchanging employees by misclassifying them as contractors, isn’t enthused. Figuring out how to classify workers who are somewhere in between an employee and a contractor has been a challenge long before the advent of the digital economy, he says. Creating a third category would just mean new boundaries to fight over.

    Shunted Workers
    Some workers who are now treated as employees would get “shunted” by companies into the intermediate category with fewer rights, Weil warns, and “baseline principles and protections” would be eroded. “I don’t see what we’ve solved.”
    He is just as critical of the idea of making it easier for on-demand companies to treat workers as contractors if the firms agree to contribute to benefit funds, something two influential Democrats plan to introduce in New York’s state legislature this month. While providing workers better training, benefits and retirement support is important, said Weil, “I do not believe it’s appropriate, nor wise, to bargain away baseline protections to get more of those. I think that’s perilous, to be quite frank.”

    Many on-demand workers are already legally entitled to full employee rights, he said. Apps that dispatch workers to provide services, and control the quality, pricing and overall business model, he says, have “created, in my mind, an employment relationship.”

    New Approach
    Weil, who is returning to Boston University where he taught before joining the government in 2014, says there’s no reason ride-sharing companies like Uber couldn’t remain viable while treating drivers as employees – they just might have to raise prices a little and accept lower profits. “I think they could do just fine – and when I say fine, I mean do really well.”

    But Uber won’t have Weil to worry about for long.

    Following President-elect Donald Trump’s January 20 inauguration, Republicans will have unified control of the federal government. That creates an opening for pro-business legislation on worker classification as well as a very different approach from the Labor Department, says Century Foundation fellow Shayna Strom, former chief of staff of Obama’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

    “There are many possibilities, including a third category, moving where the threshold is for employee versus independent contractor, and simply less enforcement of misclassification by the federal government – which would have the net effect of making more workers independent contractors in effect, if not in law,” she said.

    CKE Restaurants Inc. CEO Andrew Puzder, Trump’s choice for labor secretary, was a frequent critic of Obama appointees’ approach to labor law enforcement. He and other Trump appointees are likely to show more deference to industry prerogatives.

    “Companies are worried that if they provide training or benefits or anything extra to their contractors, that they’re going to have somebody from the government knocking on their door,” said Trump DOL transition team member F. Vincent Vernuccio, speaking to Bloomberg in his capacity as director of labor policy for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. “Contractors and companies should be free to engage in whatever business model they both choose.”
     
    Replicant 84 likes this.
  2. Tedgey

    Tedgey

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Driving:
    UberX
    Sorry to ask you to do your job Mr. Labor Attorney who heads the office that deals with this precise issue. Really sorry to have to ask you to help define the parameters and maybe, just maybe you can get that handled before whatever himbo friend of President Trump's and Travis Kalaneck's gets in there.
     
  3. LA Dispatcher

    LA Dispatcher

    Location:
    LAX
    Driving:
    UberX
    Good thing David Weil is on his way out.
     
    The Mollusk and TwoFiddyMile like this.
  4. Tedgey

    Tedgey

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Driving:
    UberX
    Raise your hand if you had a seat at the table to negotiate Uber's current rates. How about the steadfast resistance to a tipping option in the app. Could it be Trump's department of Labor transition czar is advocating for a driver's union so we can negotiate these things?
     
    qaz and KekeLo like this.
  5. Don't worry.... we'll have manufacturing jobs soon and the wall will be looking for workers as well! #MakeAmericaGreatAgain
     
    RUSSREED2.0 and Shotime4 like this.
  6. Tedgey

    Tedgey

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Driving:
    UberX
    Totally agree. Lazy SOB
     
  7. LA Dispatcher

    LA Dispatcher

    Location:
    LAX
    Driving:
    UberX
    When do we start to manufacture the self-driving cars so we can all have big league jobs?
     
    KekeLo likes this.
  8. ABC123DEF

    ABC123DEF

    Location:
    Southeastern USA
    Driving:
    UberX
    They've had at least the last four years to address these issues...back when Uber was at least worth a flying flip to have as a way to make ANY money. It doesn't matter either way what happens now....new administration or not. Nobody gives a flying flip about app workers.
     
    Koolride, TwoFiddyMile and KekeLo like this.
  9. ABC123DEF

    ABC123DEF

    Location:
    Southeastern USA
    Driving:
    UberX
    Ehh...I think the robots will be getting those jobs. That means they'd actually have to tolerate and train real human beings....and PAY them.
     
    Lowestformofwit and KekeLo like this.
  10. Tedgey

    Tedgey

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Driving:
    UberX
    Let's hope President Trump reminds Mr Kalaneck of one of Henry Ford's guiding principles.

    No not the one about exterminating Native Americans and Jewish people, the other one. The one about how if your employees earn enough to be able to afford the product you can turn them info customers too. As it is most of us can barely afford to take a poo.
     
  11. LAXpert

    LAXpert

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    You're correct we're going to be making cars rather than driving them
     
  12. First we need to manufacture the robots that will eventually do all the manufacturing.
     
    KekeLo likes this.
  13. ITT: bunch of folks talking crap about a government official who is going on record to AGREE WITH US that rideshare drivers are getting a bad deal. You're literally attacking the guy who is out there advocating for you!

    Those here critical of Weil and the Obama administration are not willing to accept that the legislative process of a democratic government is slow because it is designed to be that way. You can't just snap your fingers and make things better. Besides, the representatives in our government take their cues from the people. If at any point there had been a unified, organized group of rideshare drivers out there raising awareness about our issues then perhaps we could've achieved enough public awareness/sympathy that something would change for the better.

    You're refusing to acknowledge that this White House had ZERO help from the other political party. It's not as if Republicans are out there raising hell about how bad rideshare drivers have it these days. It's the Democrats that stand up for labor rights.

    Not to mention the fact that the plight of us woeful rideshare drivers is not exactly a top priority to an administration that is being faced with numerous geopolitical crises and all sorts of political unrest here at home. There is only so much time in a day.

    But go ahead and blame them if it makes you happy. Thats the thought process that brought us Donald Trump. Straight up self-sabotage; biting the hand that feeds you; willing to throw away everything because you didn't get exactly what you want. Not admitting your own lack of effort in inspiring meaningful change. Enjoy the next four years of scandal and instability, America.
     
  14. Maga&dan

    Maga&dan

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Both parties are corrupted. There is no difference between them at all. They do illusion of the choice for you.

     
  15. Tedgey

    Tedgey

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Driving:
    UberX
    Obama was in office before Uber existed and has been in office throughout. They've had plenty of time to try and define and classify workers in the new economy
     
  16. Ugh...
     
  17. Tedgey

    Tedgey

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Driving:
    UberX
    You realize the president runs the entire federal government obviously. But maybe you don't understand that he doesn't do it alone. He has an enormous staff and included in that staff is a guy, Mr. Weil that runs an office that's dedicated to this very thing.
     
    TwoFiddyMile and Maga&dan like this.
  18. I guess I don't see why the difficulties faced by rideshare drivers is a top priority for the White House. As a rideshare driver, I expect the administration has more pressing issues to deal with that you and/or I are not privy to.

    Labor activism is a bottom-up, grass roots process. The brilliance of the app platform for this service is that it isolates drivers and makes organizing that much more unlikely. Besides that fact, labor activism is looked down upon by many in our ranks.

    You or anyone else really think the Trump White House is going to fix rideshare for us? Anyone willing to consider that all the evidence thus far shows us that his only reason for being there is to enrich himself and raise his own profile?
     
    IKINCYA and Tedgey like this.
  19. I'm genuinely curious, what would Weil's critics here propose that he should have done in his office to improve our situation?
     
    Tedgey likes this.
  20. Maga&dan

    Maga&dan

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Before POTUS enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:—"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
    He broke this Oath many times. It was a duty of his office to prevent such frivolous use of labor term as"independent contractor".
     

Share This Page