Uber made another push last week to shut down a bill that would increase protections for Minnesotans that drive for the company. The San Francisco-based company says the proposed legislation would lead to increased fees for riders and could actually force the company to leave the state, but many legislators feel that more regulations are necessary to protect Minnesotans that drive for Uber.
In an email that was sent out early last week, Uber argued that the proposed legislation has the potential to threaten passenger safety and a driver’s earning potential, and the email included links to email state lawmakers so that drivers could urge them to oppose the bill. While the proposal would certainly make it more expensive for the rideshare giant to operate in Minnesota, it would also guarantee some basic protections for drivers.
The proposed bill would:
- Guarantee minimum pay rates for drivers
- Create protections against being fired or “deactivated”
- Guarantee reinstatement hearings for anyone deactivated since 2021
A more thorough version of the bill also included some protections like the right to workers’ compensation, paid sick leave and overtime, but those changes appear to have been removed from an updated version of the proposal. The minimum pay rates would make it easier for drivers to earn a more regular income, which can help them offset some of the expenses that come with being classified as an independent contractor instead of an employee. They would still not be eligible for workers’ compensation, but the new protections would be a step in the right direction. A large contingent of drivers have voiced their favor for the bill as it heads towards a vote in the House and Senate.
Uber is vehemently against the proposal, saying that the changes would likely make Minneapolis the most expensive city in the country for a ride. Much of the added costs of the bill would be deferred to riders, but a lot of the more expensive changes ended up being dropped from the updated version of the bill. For example, an earlier proposal would have made it a requirement for Uber to provide additional insurance for drivers in the event that they were injured or assaulted while driving for Uber. That portion of the bill was stripped from the latest version, meaning drivers are still responsible for their own medical expenses and are ineligible for disability benefits while they are recovering.
“It’s unfortunate,” said Eid Ali, president of the recently formed Minnesota Uber/Lyft Driver Association.
Ali is hoping that additional protections can be passed next year if the current proposal is met with favor by legislators.
If you are injured while working for a rideshare company, you still may have compensation options depending on the specifics of your accident. To learn more, or to see if you are eligible for injury compensation, reach out to Dean and the team at Margolis Law Firm today at (952) 230-2700.
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