Rideshare drivers protest over enforcement of AB 5

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SAN DIEGO — Rideshare drivers across California rallied Wednesday for better pay and better treatment from companies like Uber and Lyft.

Drivers who are part of the Rideshare Drivers United Organizations marched into San Diego’s Labor Commissioner’s Office to file wage theft claims in the hope of enforcing Assembly Bill 5.

The bill reclassifies workers as employees instead of as independent contractors. 

“There is so much you can get as an employee and I don’t understand why Uber and Lyft drivers can’t be,” said Chris Chandler, who drives for both Lyft and Uber. 

If you’re classified as an employee, you’re entitled to labor protection laws, including those that regulate minimum wage, unemployment and sick pay. 

Uber and Lyft currently have their workers classified as independent contractors, even though the bill went into effect Jan. 1 after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed it into law last year.

Some drivers, like Jean Peterson, would like to remain independent contractors. Peterson believes AB 5 will take away the flexibility he currently enjoys as a driver.

“If you’re an employee, that means they would want you to work shifts, which would probably be 8 hours because they don’t want to pay overtime,” Peterson said. 

Neither Uber nor Lyft replied to FOX 5’s requests for comment.

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