The proposed rideshare & delivery driver ballot question

secures the overwhelmingly popular flexibility that app-based rideshare and delivery drivers currently enjoy, while also providing them with historic new benefits.

The future of app-based drivers is on the line right now in Massachusetts, but there is a solution that voters can approve in November 2022. The proposed ballot question: 

Protects drivers’ independence and flexibility

Drivers will continue to remain independent contractors free to work whenever they want, wherever they want, as long as they want, with as many platforms as they want. The ballot question prevents rideshare and delivery network companies from mandating specific dates, times of day, or minimum number of hours which an app-based driver must work. (See Section 3 of the ballot question)

Creates a minimum earnings guarantee

Drivers’ ability to continue earning with no hourly limit on how much they can earn will remain exactly the same as it is today. There will be a new minimum earnings guarantee to ensure earnings can never fall below $18 per hour plus an additional $0.26 per mile while drivers are on delivery or passenger trips, no matter the circumstance. If a driver’s earnings ever falls below $18 per hour for an earnings period—for example if some trips take longer than expected or have unexpected detours—the ballot question requires  companies to top up pay to meet the minimum. Drivers always keep 100% of their tips, which  are in no way used to meet the minimum earnings. Drivers also retain their ability to deduct applicable expenses on their taxes. (See Section 4 of the ballot question)

Protects drivers with company paid occupational accident insurance

Companies would be required to provide drivers with occupational accident insurance to cover up to $1 million in medical expenses and lost income resulting from being hurt on the job. It’s an important protection, akin to workers’ compensation. (See Section 8 of the ballot question)

Requires companies to provide new paid health insurance stipends

Drivers who drive for 25 hours or more of work per week with a rideshare or delivery platform would be eligible for a company-paid health care stipend worth 100% of the average employer contribution towards the average premium for a Massachusetts Health Connector Bronze plan. Drivers working at least 15 hours a week would be eligible for a stipend worth 50%  of the average employer contribution towards such a plan and those accruing time on multiple platforms could receive multiple stipends. (See Section 5 of the ballot question)

Safeguards drivers against discrimination and creates a right to appeal deactivation

Rideshare and delivery network companies would be prohibited from discriminating against drivers based on race, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or any other covered biases under the state’s employment anti-discrimination law and guarantees drivers an opportunity to appeal account deactivation. (See Section 9 of the ballot question)

Provide drivers with company paid earned sick time

Drivers would receive one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours completing a delivery or ride, paid for by rideshare and delivery network companies. (See Section 6 of the ballot question)

Provide drivers with Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Program

Drivers would be eligible for up to 26 weeks of paid leave to care for a family member or new child, recover from sickness or manage a serious health condition. (See Section 7 of the ballot question

The complete text of the proposed ballot question can be found here.