California legislators are considering changes that could make Lyft fundamentally different for drivers and passengers.
Today, drivers have the freedom to choose when, where, and how to work with Lyft. As a result, the vast majority of Lyft drivers work on a part time basis around commitments such as family, school, and a full time job. Drivers tell us overwhelmingly that this flexible arrangement is key to continuing to drive with Lyft.
But if legislators approve these changes, Lyft may have to respond by restricting flexibility for drivers, including scheduled shifts, fixed hourly wages, and a ban on driving for multiple apps. We might have to do this because, like every other big company with employees, we would be subject to rigid obligations that make it unfeasible to allow workers to show up for work whenever, wherever and for however long they feel like it. Taking control away from drivers would limit the number of drivers who are able to drive on our platform to a fraction of what it is today, blocking tens of thousands of current California drivers from continuing to earn with Lyft.
Lyft is advocating for an approach in line with the interests of our driver community, by modernizing century old labor laws that make it difficult to provide both flexibility and benefits. We have put forward an alternative that preserves that flexibility for drivers while providing more security and protection, including setting a minimum earnings floor, establishing worker-directed portable benefits, and creating a new association in partnership with labor groups to administer the benefits that best meet drivers’ individual needs. The Los Angeles Times recently endorsed this approach in an editorial saying it, “would offer more help to part-time workers than reclassifying them as employees and robbing them of the flexibility and opportunities that attracted them to the work in the first place.”
Before legislators make any decisions, we thought it was important that they hear directly from drivers. As of now, 59,787 messages have been sent to legislators from drivers. We didn’t give drivers a script. We simply asked them to share their experience driving with Lyft and perspective on these changes in their own words. Here are 1,000 of those messages that were sent in recent days.