On November 3, nearly 10 million California voters – including 47% of Democrats and 35 Congressional Districts carried by Biden – voted for Proposition 22. Prop 22, as it is called, won by a landslide 18 point margin with 59% of the vote. A big reason why it passed overwhelmingly in one of the most progressive states in America is California gig workers had clearly said that they wanted the flexibility and benefits promised by Prop 22: in surveys done leading up to the vote, 72% of California drivers said they supported Prop 22. 

Platform companies implemented Prop 22’s benefits in December of last year, but what do app based workers actually think now, a few months in? To try and find out we commissioned an independent, third party study in March asking California drivers about their attitudes and experiences with Prop 22. The results are overwhelming:

  • 4 out of 5 (82%) state they are happy Prop 22 passed. Additionally, drivers across the political spectrum are happy about Prop 22; in fact, 85% of drivers who identify as Democrats are happy it passed. 
  • 75% of drivers said the law creates a better future for app-based workers by receiving the new benefits and being able to remain independent.
  • 76% of drivers said Prop 22 benefits them personally. 
  • 92% of the nearly two-thirds of drivers who have said they have experienced some of the benefits and changes say the changes have had a positive impact on their life.
  • 3 in 4 (75%) believe drivers in other states would benefit if their state passed a similar law. 

Some still believe the only solution to improve the quality of the independent work on a platform like Uber is to simply make drivers employees. As we’ve shared before, that decision would come with serious costs, as Uber would only be able to hire a fraction of the drivers who get work through its platform today, and reduce flexibility for those that remain. This thinking is also wildly out of touch with what workers themselves actually say they want and need, as well as California voters. In fact, in the new survey, 84% of drivers said Prop 22 is a better alternative than employment with a full-time, fixed schedule.

Democrats and communities of color throughout the state supported the ballot measure,  demonstrating that improved outcomes for independent, app-based workers is a nonpartisan issue that doesn’t follow ideological lines. In California, 47% of Democrats voted in favor of 22 along with 58% of voters not affiliated with either party and 69% of Republicans. Prop 22 was also supported by a majority of BIPOC, Latino, and Asian voters.

Drivers and delivery people have told us clearly that the status quo for independent platform work wasn’t good enough, failing to provide them a strong enough safety net. That’s why we are proactively advocating for new laws that would require the entire gig industry to provide new benefits and protections for all workers. We have a responsibility to act to help raise the standard of independent work and create a better future for gig work – one that gives app-based workers the flexibility they want and the benefits they need. 

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