3 things to know about Massachusetts’ $175 million deal with Uber and Lyft

From WBUR, summarizes the key elements of Massachusetts’ settlement with Uber and Lyft. Nik writes:

Settlement stunner: Uber and Lyft will pay Massachusetts a combined $175 million to settle a years-long legal fight, pledging to raise driver wages and shaking up this fall’s slate of ballot questions. Attorney General Andrea Campbell announced the deal last night. It settles a lawsuit first filed in 2020 by AG-turned-Gov. Maura Healey, alleging rideshare companies were misclassifying drivers as independent contractors rather than employees under state labor law — and were thus denying them protections like minimum wage and paid sick time. Here are three things to know about the deal:

  1. No more ballot question: That complicated ballot question about app-based drivers and how they’re classified under state labor law? No longer happening! The settlement resolves the classification dispute. The group behind the proposed ballot initiative, Flexibility and Benefits for Massachusetts Drivers, said they’re “no longer moving forward” with what was expected to be a bruising, expensive campaign. According to a spokesman, the group won’t submit the final round of signatures for ballot campaigns, which are due next week. The decision came just hours after the state’s top court rejected a legal challenge against the initiative and a separate question to allow app-based drivers to unionize. (Backers of the unionization question say they’re still planning to move forward.)
  2. A new minimum wage: Beginning on Aug. 15, Uber and Lyft drivers in Massachusetts will earn a minimum wage of $32.50 per hour. That rate comes with a big asterisk — it only applies to the time spent on the way to a pickup and during a ride (so time spent waiting for a ride request does not count). As part of the deal, Uber and Lyft also agreed to give certain drivers stipends for health insurance, paid sick time and accident insurance.
  3. What happens to that $175 million? Most of it will go to current and former rideshare drivers to make up for being “underpaid,” according to Campbell’s office. The AG plans to announce more information in the “coming weeks” about who qualifies for the money and how to file a claim.

Source: 3 things to know about Massachusetts’ $175 million deal with Uber and Lyft | WBUR News

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