Massachusetts group collects 260,000 signatures in bid to keep gig drivers as independent contractors

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November 17, 2021

Some 260,000 signatures have been delivered to local town and city clerks in Massachusetts in support of a proposed ballot initiative that would enable rideshare drivers for firm such as Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. to remain independent contractors instead of employees.

There are two versions of the ballot question and approximately 130,000 signatures have been provided for each version.

The Massachusetts Coalition for Independent Work, the group behind the questions, noted all proposed 2022 ballot initiative efforts must have submitted signatures to local town and city clerks by today for certification. At least 80,239 certified signatures must then be delivered to the secretary of the commonwealth by Dec. 1.

Signatures have been submitted to cities and towns on a rolling basis. So far, the group said approximately 50,000 signatures have been certified for each question.

Ballot questions that submit the required number of certified signatures are then introduced to the legislature for consideration next year.

In addition to keeping drivers as independent contractors, the questions would establish an earnings floor equal to 120% of the Massachusetts minimum wage and platform companies would be required pay healthcare stipends for drivers who work at least 15 hours per week.

California voters approved a similar law in 2020 called Proposition 22. In August, a judge ruled that law violated the state’s constitution.

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