Things That Matter

Uber Says It May Shutdown In California As It Fights Against Gig Worker Law

Is it possible that you won’t be able to get an Uber or Lyft in California? Well, it’s actually very likely that your apps won’t work much longer. The two companies are threatening to go dark in the Golden State as the two fight back against AB5 – a state law that offers protections to gig economy workers.

Uber says that they’ll need to rethink their entire business model if forced to follow AB5, hence the likely shutdown. But many find it suspicious that the company will be shutting down through the November election, when voters will be asked to vote on Prop 22, a ballot measure that would exempt Lyft and Uber from the new regulations.

An Uber shutdown is looking more likely in California as the company plans its response to new state laws.

All the drama started when California (among some other states) started enacting ‘gig worker’ protection laws that were meant to force companies like Uber to reclassify drivers as employees. Currently, drivers are classified as ‘independent contractors’ and are not eligible to receive any benefits, such as healthcare, retirement plans, and overtime.

Uber moved to limit the impact of that law while also admitting that change was needed to better protect their drivers. Not too long after Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi published an op-ed in The New York Times with the headline “Gig Workers Deserve Better,” a San Francisco judge ruled that Uber and Lyft had to reclassify their drivers as employees within 10 days.

In his ruling, Schulman wrote of Uber and Lyft, “It is high time that they face up to their responsibilities to their workers and to the public.” He rejected the argument that Uber and Lyft are simply technology companies, asserting “drivers are central, not tangential, to Uber and Lyft’s entire ride-hailing business.”

Two days later, Khosrowshahi responded with an ultimatum: If Uber had to abide by California labor law, it would require a business model change so extreme the entire company would have to pull out of the state until November. Which is convenient, since California has an initiative in the November election that would overturn much of the state’s gig economy law.

The shutdown would be used to fight back against a recent gig economy law that Uber says would eat away at profits.

Over the last five years, several states have enacted legislation against Uber and Lyft’s operating methods. The companies have come to rely on a tried and tested playbook: threaten to suspend service in the area. The threat, which the companies would sometimes follow through on, appeared designed to rile up customers and drivers, and put more pressure on lawmakers. And it often worked: look at Austin, TX.

Now, both Uber and Lyft say they are once again considering suspending service to get what they want. They say they may suspend their operations in California as soon as this week while simultaneously pushing for a referendum in November to exempt them from the law, known as AB-5.

Although the pandemic has reduced demand, a shutdown would largely impact Black and Brown communities.

Credit: Mark Ralston / Getty Images

Although the companies are planning on going dark in the next week or so, many industry experts don’t think the shutdown will have the impact they hope for. The pandemic has greatly reduced demand for ride sharing as people are staying at home and many more are working from home.

However, much like the pandemic itself, the shutdown would likely have an outsized impact on Black and Latino communities – two groups who have largely come to reply on the companies for commuting to and from work or school. Several studies have shown that Black and Brown workers make up the majority of ‘essential workers’ – so many don’t enjoy the privilege of working from home.

An Uber or Lyft shutdown would force many of these workers back on to buses and trains, further putting already impacted communities under increased risk for contagion of the virus.

The companies are betting on a November ballot initiative to help bail them out from new regulations.

Credit: Mario Tama / Getty Images

Although a judge has tried to force the companies to follow the law – the legal system may not have the last word. Uber and Lyft are counting on California’s voters to help them circumvent AB5, which went into effect in January and makes it more difficult for companies to use independent contractors. Uber and Lyft built their respective businesses on the concept of using freelance drivers who aren’t eligible for traditional benefits like health insurance and paid leave. 

Earlier this year, the companies, along with DoorDash, raised nearly $100 million to place a question on the November ballot. They succeeded, and this fall, voters will be asked to permanently classify ride-hailing drivers as independent contractors. The measure, called Proposition 22, also directs the companies to adopt certain labor and wage policies that fall short of traditional employment.

To help build support, the companies are turning to their customers. Lyft has taken a very active approach with urging its customers to vote yes on Prop 22 – they’ve emailed them and added pro-Prop 22 messages to the app. Meanwhile, Uber is considering similar tactics to ones the company used in 2015 in New York, when the company added a pop-up feature in its app to troll the mayor of New York City and encourage the company’s customers to pressure him to back off on proposed legislation that could seriously hamper Uber’s growth efforts in the city. It worked, and Mayor Bill de Blasio relented.

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A Bride Tested Positive For Covid Three Days Before Her Wedding So They Improvised

Culture

A Bride Tested Positive For Covid Three Days Before Her Wedding So They Improvised

Maxwell Monty EyeEm / Getty Images

Your wedding day is something so many people plan for years. Things always come up that change plans or even ruin the whole day. One bride in California had a moment that could have ruined her big day but she made the most of it.

A bride in California tested positive for Covid three days before her wedding and that didn’t stop her.

Lauren Jimenez and Patrick Delgado were getting closer to their forever fairy tale and then Covid struck. Jimenez tested positive three days before getting married and it seemed like all chances of an in-person event were off. The bride and groom considered calling it off to protect the health of their loved ones until Jimenez had an idea.

“I was like maybe we can somehow get married with me in the window. It’ll be like a fairy tale, I guess,” Jimenez told ABC 7.

The wedding became a real-life fairy tale that looks so much like Rapunzel.

Instead of hair, Jimenez and Delgado got married using a rope that was tied together by her aunt. The rope connected the two while Jimenez sat at the window of her bedroom on the second story of her parents’ home. Delgado told NBC News that he was saddened when the wedding day approached because everything was being canceled due to Jimenez’s Covid diagnosis.

The wedding is being called one of the most 2020 weddings.

What do you do if you test positive three days before your wedding, but everyone else around you is negative? Let’s up…

Posted by Jesscaste Photography on Sunday, November 22, 2020

The image of a bride and groom marrying while social distancing is the epitome of this crazy time for the world. While romantic and beautiful, the photos are a stunning reminder of the full scale of this viral outbreak and how much it has interrupted everyday life. Guests in the photographs are all wearing masks and there is no physical contact among anyone. It is a surreal sight to see a family come together for a distanced and contact-less wedding.

Cities and counties around the country are going back into lockdowns as cases start to surge. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti recently put the city back on a strict lockdown and told residents that it is “time to cancel everything.”

The Delgados’ wedding is a touching reminder of the power of love.

Nothing could keep these two from tying the knot and proclaiming their love to those closest to them. The wedding is one that everyone, not just the family, will remember for a very long time to come. Once the world moves forward and the vaccine is distributed we will all look back on the time we saw a woman get married from a bedroom window.

According to ABC 7, Jimenez went straight to bed right after the wedding was over. The couple is still distanced as the new wife recovers from the virus before reuniting with her husband.

Congratulations on your wedding! We wish you years of happiness.

READ: California Groomed Killed At His Own Wedding By Alleged Party Crashers

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A TikToker Posted A Heartbreaking Video Of A Subway Worker Literally Falling Asleep Into The Sandwich She Was Making

Fierce

A TikToker Posted A Heartbreaking Video Of A Subway Worker Literally Falling Asleep Into The Sandwich She Was Making

Jeff Greenberg / Getty

Employees of the fast-food industry are often burdened by the weight of their career’s daily challenges. Underpaid and all too often overworked, fast food workers sadly often are forced to endure customers with poor attitudes and demeaning words. In fact, in 2014 a survey published by Business Insider revealed that 12% of fast-food workers claimed to have been assaulted on the job. In 2020, food industry workers are being forced to endure customer abuse at even higher rates.

A recently viral TikTok video highlighted once again the sad aspects of fast-food work after a Subway restaurant worker was filmed falling asleep while in the middle of making a sandwich.

A TikTok user filmed an employee nodding off into a sandwich while preparing the meal. 

The alarming moment was allegedly captured at a Subway in Oregon. The video shows the Subway worker adding toppings to a sandwich. Her hand stops halfway through the process and then, very slowly, the worker slumps forward. While standing, the Subway worker could be seen slumping more and more towards the sandwich until finally, her face lands right into it. The 28-second video clip was uploaded to TikTok and has since been viewed over 12 million times.

The video, which was posted on November 16, had the caption: “This lady fell asleep on my sandwich.”

The initial “funny” value of the post wore off quickly as users were quick to identify how heartbreaking it all was in actuality.

“This is actually really sad. I can’t imagine how underslept she is. Not to mention the wage people get paid at Subway… She deserves better,” one TikTok user by the name of Monique Emilia commented. The skincare influencer Hyram also commented writing “Poor thing… Can’t imagine how underslept she is, we’re too hard on service workers.”

Many users were quick to speculate whether the woman suffers from the chronic sleep disorder narcolepsy or even diabetes. Meanwhile, the original poster of the video claimed that the woman might have been affected by drugs. “Can y’all [please] stop with the negative comments the lady woke up after [the] video ended she is fine she [just[ needs to not do drugs before work,” they later commented. This allegation has not been confirmed however.

“I just hope she gets help! She really doesn’t need you filming her at her lowest. Maybe ask if she’s alright instead,” another user by the name of Pat Drake commented.

Subway is one of the country’s biggest fast-food chains.

As of 2019, the restaurant has over 23,000 locations across the United States. In 2019, Business Insider reported “that Subway is the biggest fast-food chain in America. The sandwich shops across the country account for 18.5% of all US fast-food chains. Subway is followed by McDonald’s and Burger King, which account for 11.3% and 5.7% respectively.” As of 2019, Subway employees earn between $8 and $9 per hour.

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