Seattle approves minimal wage for Uber and Lyft drivers

New Seattle regulation requires Uber and Lyft to pay their drivers a minimal wage.

Angela Lang/CNET

The Seattle Metropolis Council unanimously authorised a minimal pay commonplace for Uber and Lyft drivers on Tuesday, the second metropolis within the US to take action. Below the brand new regulation moving into to impact in January, the ride-hailing providers might be required to pay their drivers at the very least $16.39 an hour.

“The pandemic has uncovered the fault traces in our techniques of employee protections, leaving many frontline staff like gig staff with no security web,” Mayor Jenny Durkan mentioned in a press release.

The legislation, handed in a 9-to-Zero vote, is modeled after one passed by New York in August 2018 that caps what number of ride-hailing vehicles from providers like Uber and Lyft will be on the road. Seattle’s legislation would require drivers be paid at the very least 56 cents per minute and $1.33 per mile pushed whereas transporting passengers. 

Lyft criticized the transfer, saying it could remove hundreds of jobs.

“The Metropolis’s plan is deeply flawed and can really destroy jobs for hundreds of individuals — as many as 4,000 drivers on Lyft alone — and drive ride-share corporations out of Seattle,” Lyft mentioned in a press release.

Experience-hailing corporations have resisted efforts to categorise their drivers as workers as a result of it may make doing enterprise dearer for the businesses. Critics cost that Uber and Lyft reap a monetary windfall by treating its drivers as contractors and thus avoiding greater prices reminiscent of paying advantages, additional time and insurance coverage.

California authorised laws final 12 months that might require Uber and Lyft to reclassify their drivers as workers, however each corporations are sponsoring a invoice on the state’s November poll that goals to particularly exempt them from the legislation, referred to as AB5. The poll measure, referred to as Proposition 22, suggests creating an alternative to the law that retains staff as impartial contractors, however provides a number of extra advantages, reminiscent of expense reimbursement and a well being care subsidy.

In crafting the ordinance authorised Tuesday, Seattle commissioned two well-known economists to find out how a lot drivers really make, whereas Uber and Lyft quietly commissioned researchers from Cornell College who came up with very different conclusions.Town’s researchers discovered that drivers made an average of about $9.73 per hour, whereas the ride-hailing corporations’ researcher put the number at $23.25.

Uber did not instantly reply to a request for remark.

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