Uber changes in response to new gig-work law in California

Uber makes major changes in its app to avoid California Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) so-called gig worker bill. AB5 has expanded the possibilities to reclassify independent contractors as employees. It was enacted in September 2019. Uber sued California in an attempt to make AB5 void, but the legal dispute is not over. Uber stated that “as a result of AB5, we’ve made a number of product changes to preserve flexible work for tens of thousands of California drivers”. In California, Uber will not show upfront pricing anymore. Instead, it will show passengers a range of prices. The final price will be calculated at the end of the ride. Passengers will be allowed to add drivers to a favorite list. Drivers will be able to reject a ride request without penalty. Uber said that the goal is to keep the platform “available to as many qualified drivers as possible, without restricting the number of drivers who can work at a given time”. Providing drivers with more control and being more transparent about fares are among Uber’s strategy to avoid AB5 and the reclassification of its drivers as employees.