I don’t have time to flesh this story out, but Rep Hill took some swipes at 4&20, and the quality of their political analyses during the absence of jhwygirl and Jay Stevens:
I know from others who work in the trenches of the Capitol that we really didn’t find 4&20 to be a relevant source of political analysis any longer. — Rep. Ellie Hill (D) HD94
I’m sure some of her disdain for us stems from our criticism of her legislation deregulating motor carrier laws to allow ridesharing companies like Uber to operate in Montana.
Well, after reading the Reuters news today that the California Labor Commission has determined that Uber drivers are employees, not contractors, it shines a light on the bill Rep Hill shepherded through the Montana Legislature granting Uber and other ridesharing companies the right to operate in the state.
June 17 (Reuters) – A San Francisco-based driver for smartphone-based ride-hailing service Uber is an employee, not a contractor, according to a ruling by the California Labor Commission.
The ruling, filed on Tuesday in state court in San Francisco, said Uber is “involved in every aspect of the operation.” It is the latest in a host of legal and regulatory challenges facing Uber in the United States and other countries.
Uber had argued its drivers are independent contractors, not employees, and that it is “nothing more than a neutral technology platform.”
If Uber drivers are employees, that opens Uber up to higher costs, including Social Security, workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance.
Rep Hill’s bill is entirely based on a false premise that Uber’s drivers are contractors, and not employees, and is written in a fashion that if in Montana drivers are likewise deemed to be employees then many unexpected things will happen — like a driver who is an employee for Uber must carry the liability insurance to protect his employer. Nice… for Uber.
Rep Hill’s Uber bill confuses the distinction between contractors and employees. To those of us who work as true independent contractors, it is apparent that her legislation neglected to anticipate the problems with Uber drivers being classified as employees, but also created a type of contractor (ridesharing driver) that could be exploited by a business model intended to enrich the corporation at the expense of the employee disguised as a contractor.
So, of course democrats like Hill don’t like political analyses by Skink and I when we criticize poorly thought out and badly written legislation — legislation that does a great disservice to the history of the democrat party as protector of unions and workers.
Let’s see democrats response if/when the classification of Uber’s drivers as “contractors” is challenged in Montana.