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To: Policymakers of California

Demand gig economy companies give paid sick time off during coronavirus

Uber and Lyft drivers, Instacart shoppers, Doordash delivery drivers and other app workers are sitting in cars with passengers, delivering food to people’s front doors, and handing off packages. Workers like me are on the frontline of exposure to, and spread of, the coronavirus. But unlike other workers, we are denied paid sick time by the companies that we work for, which would allow us to stay home when sick.

By continuing to deny us paid sick leave, Uber and Lyft are doing nothing to prevent this public health crisis from worsening. In order to protect the health of us as workers, and of the larger communities that we serve everyday, companies like Uber, Lyft, Doordash, and Instacart must provide paid time off to workers who are sick during the coronavirus outbreak.

We call on policymakers of California to hold gig economy companies like Uber, Lyft, GrubHub, DoorDash, Postmates, Handy, and Instacart accountable and require them to immediately provide paid time off to their app and platform workers.

Why is this important?

Everyday, I have 20-30 people come into my car - with all their germs. While other workers who are exposed at work have things like paid time off and healthcare, I have no protection.

Under recently passed legislation in California, gig companies are supposed to guarantee gig workers access to paid sick days, but the companies have refused to do so.

Gig companies, like Uber, Lyft and DoorDash, irresponsibly deny their drivers basic protections like paid sick time off. Anyone can get sick from coronavirus, but because drivers like me don’t have paid sick time, I can’t go to the doctor or take time off without losing precious income. If I don’t work, I can’t afford my rent.

My choices are either to continue working while sick, just so I can survive to the next week, or not work and fall behind on bills and rent.

Drivers are always forced to choose between these two impossible options because Uber and Lyft shrug responsibility for ensuring everyone's safety. Even in the face of a global pandemic where the best protection we all have collectively is limiting exposure and ensuring access to the medical care we deserve, Uber and Lyft are doing what they have always done: creating unsafe and unfair conditions and leaving drivers with the responsibility and expense to deal with the repercussions.

As a driver, my whole job is to keep people safe — to get my passengers from point A to point B safely. Right now, I am doing everything in my power to take safety precautions, like wiping down my car regularly, but it's not enough.

All workers need and deserve paid time off and healthcare all of the time, but this pandemic shows that we need it especially right now, when our communities are at risk of infection.

If these companies are not held accountable to take action immediately, they are putting drivers and all the riders we transport at risk. It’s a potential public health crisis, and companies like Uber and Lyft have a real and urgent responsibility to protect the health of society at large.

- Yash A.
Driver and leader with Gig Workers Rising




2020-03-10 19:49:22 -0400

1,000 signatures reached

2020-03-07 16:10:51 -0500

500 signatures reached

2020-03-06 21:06:12 -0500

100 signatures reached

2020-03-06 19:40:14 -0500

50 signatures reached

2020-03-06 19:18:06 -0500

25 signatures reached

2020-03-06 18:55:34 -0500

10 signatures reached