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Massachusetts court rejects proposed gig worker ballot measure

The New York Occasions reports Massachusetts’ Supreme Judicial Court docket has rejected a proposed poll measure that might have enshrined Uber and Lyft’s enterprise mannequin in legislation. The courtroom stated the measure violated the Massachusetts structure by together with two unrelated coverage choices, together with one hidden by “obscure language.”

The majority of the proposed poll measure outlined restricted advantages for rideshare drivers. Nevertheless, the offending provision would have stated that drivers could not be handled as an “worker or agent” of gig-based firms. If voted into legislation, this may need shielded outfits like Uber or Lyft from legal responsibility within the occasion of a crash or crime — to not point out kneecapping any makes an attempt to reclassify drivers as staff within the state. The unrelated provisions raised considerations that voters is likely to be “confused, misled and disadvantaged” of an actual alternative, the courtroom wrote in its resolution.

Uber, Lyft and their supporters contended that formalizing the gig employee mannequin would have protected flexibility for drivers looking for their very own hours. Teams supporting the businesses, akin to Chamber of Progress, have claimed worker standing may value jobs and earnings. Critics like AFL-CIO union federation, nonetheless, have argued that measures like this create a false dichotomy between flexibility and advantages — they see poll choices like this as makes an attempt to chop employment prices on the expense of laborers.

Uber and Lyft declined to remark. The 2 spent a complete of $17.8 million endorsing the poll measure, and have had blended success selling related efforts in different states. They acquired Californians to vote for Proposition 22, a bid to reverse a state legislation defending drivers as staff, solely to look at as a decide dominated the measure unconstitutional. The businesses struck an settlement with Washington State legislators in early 2022, however did not get a lot traction in New York State.

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