Uber and Lyft eye other states

first_imgA driver and passenger wear face masks as Uber and Lyft drivers with Rideshare Drivers United and the Transport Workers Union of America conduct a ‘caravan protest’ outside the California Labor Commissioner’s office amidst the coronavirus pandemic on April 16, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.Mario Tama | Getty Images Uber and Lyft are projected to get their way in California with voters supporting their Proposition 22 ballot measure, according to NBC News.Prop 22 will exempt these and other “gig economy” companies from a law that would have forced them to treat drivers and delivery workers as employees. Instead, they will be able to continue treating them as independent contractors, saving the companies money on employee expenses such as paid sick days, unemployment insurance and health care.Shares in both Uber and Lyft rose more than 10% on Wednesday following the projected win.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Now, the companies and labor advocates will turn their attention to other state and federal legislatures, which are weighing similar labor law exemptions for ride-hailing and delivery apps.Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has even appealed to President Donald Trump and lawmakers to consider “a third way” of classifying drivers, similar to what Prop 22 provides but at the federal level. The proposition allows the companies to offer drivers partial benefits, such as a minimum base pay that’s higher than the federal minimum wage, and healthcare subsidies for some drivers depending on the average amount of hours they spend giving rides or making deliveries each week.Both companies, along with delivery companies Postmates (which Uber announced plans to acquire), DoorDash and Instacart, poured millions into the support effort, which raised a total of about $203 million, breaking records for a single campaign initiative in the state. The opposition raised just about $20 million despite pulling support from Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.- Advertisement –center_img Critics point to the ride-hailing and food delivery companies’ expenditures as a sign of excessive corporate influence. The companies claim they are backing a measure that many of their own drivers and delivery workers support.Now that voters have weighed in there, attention will largely shift to policymakers considering labor reforms or with their own AB5-style laws on the books, like New York and Massachusetts.What Proposition 22 does and why it wonProposition 22 is rebuke of a recent California state labor law called AB5, which codified a three-part test for whether workers should be considered contractors or employees.Lawmakers who supported AB5 hoped it would make gig economy companies like Uber and Lyft classify drivers as employees, which would require them to pay for things like benefits and unemployment insurance.Uber and Lyft made changes before the law went into place to give drivers more flexibility, which they claimed would make them compliant. But California’s attorney general sued the companies, alleging they did not do enough to pass the new labor test. A trial judge granted a preliminary injunction that would have required companies to adhere to the employee classification, although it was not slated to take effect until after the election. He also called the Uber’s logic for counting drivers’ work as outside the ordinary course of their business “a classic example of circular reasoning.”That lawsuit is unlikely to matter, now that Prop 22 has passed, allowing the companies to continue operating as they have.Seth Berenzweig, who is founder and managing partner of the business law firm Berenzweig Leonard outside of Washington D.C., says that the passage of Prop 22 is a huge win for businesses, especially those with significant operations in California.“Candidly, some drivers will be disappointed with this. But on balance, it’s a reasonable modern compromise. And it will probably also serve as a new blueprint for other states,” Berenzweig said.Berenzweig believes that one reason Prop 22 garnered widespread support in California was because “people like to be independent. They don’t like the government shoving an answer down their throat.” More important, he said, the companies were savvy in defining a middle ground.The new base hourly compensation under Prop 22 is around $16.80, which is higher than the minimum pay under fair labor standards, provisions and regulations. That pay rate helped with the companies’ pitch.Offering some payment to help maintain state insurance contributions was also smart, Berenzweig said. “It helped provide the appearance of some kind of middle ground rather than doing what the state did. The state just made an extreme decision and put everybody and everything in one lane.”Critics of the ballot measure say it’s not that straightforward. Drivers for Uber and Lyft, for example, spend plenty of time waiting in their cars for another rider to pop up on their phone for a pick-up or driving to a nearby stop without pay. Drivers like Nicole Moore, an activist with Rideshare Drivers United, say that waiting time should be considered work as well. Since benefits would be based on how many hours the companies considered them to have worked, they could end up short-changed there too, according to Moore.“When we’re able to get our message out, our message is effective,” Moore said.Independent surveys seem to support the companies’ claims that drivers want to be independent. But Moore and labor law experts like University of Buffalo Professor Erin Hatton say drivers don’t always get the full picture from gig companies.“They’re selling them this dream of being your own boss, working whenever you want to, being in control of your work hours,” Hatton said. “But they’re doing all of these things to undercut the financial security that they might gain from this work.”Uber did not provide comment for this article or on Proposition 22. A Lyft spokesperson pointed to a statement on the proposition highlighting the long fight to get the measure on the ballot and benefits it would provide, like an earnings guarantee.Where the fight goes from hereCompanies that supported Propositon 22 want similar measures elsewhere.Lyft Chief Policy Officer Anthony Foxx said in a statement that the company “stands ready to work with all interested parties, including drivers, labor unions and policymakers, to build a stronger safety net for gig workers in the U.S.”“Now, we’re looking ahead and across the country, ready to champion new benefits structures that are portable, proportional, and flexible,” DoorDash CEO Tony Xu said in a statement.They will likely face similar opposition in New York and Massachusetts as they did in California. But Hatton said she believes that the ballot measure could be “precedent-setting.”“California is a huge and influential state,” she said. “These tech companies, many of them originated there, it’s kind of seen as the vanguard of this whole sector. And they’re literally rewriting employment law, and not just for themselves, but I think that lots of other companies will see this and try to follow suit.”Chris Gerace, who drives for Uber and Lyft in upstate New York and writes for The Rideshare Guy blog, has already taken note of changes the companies have made to accommodate California’s AB5. While he said he supports allowing drivers to be independent workers, he wants to see some of the more flexible features Uber gave to California drivers expanded across the country.For example, he says that allowing drivers to set their own rates could make up for the fact that drivers are not paid for the time they spend waiting or traveling in between rides.“I don’t want AB5. I don’t want an employee model,” Gerace said. But he also hopes that drivers, not just companies, will be involved in creating legislation in his home state.“These companies themselves shouldn’t be writing that law or that proposition themselves,” Gerace said.As for California, Moore said she and other activists are not ready to stop fighting and are willing to pursue action through the courts and policymakers.While legal options in California are narrowing, Hatton said drivers may still be able to try to reclaim backpay from the companies by claiming they’re owed for wages they were entitled to while AB5 was fully in effect.Moore isn’t sure if she’ll go back to driving for Lyft or other apps. She’d stopped taking riders in March as a health precaution during the pandemic. But even at that point, she said, she’d already felt that her wages were “getting close to not worth it.”WATCH: What California’s Prop 22 could mean for tech companies in other states – Advertisement –last_img read more

Texas Teenager Arrested in Fatal Shooting of Eddie Hassell

first_imgAn 18-year-old Texas man has been arrested in the fatal shooting of the actor Eddie Hassell last weekend in what the police described on Thursday as a “random robbery” that turned deadly.The man, D’Jon Antone, was arrested “without incident” on Wednesday by the U.S. Marshals Service and the Grand Prairie Police Department, the department said. He is being held on a capital murder charge, with bail set at $500,000.- Advertisement – Mr. Hassell’s family could not be reached for comment on Thursday. It was not immediately clear whether Mr. Antone had a lawyer. His relatives could not immediately be reached for comment, and a spokeswoman for the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office said she had no additional information.Mr. Hassell, 30, was best known for his roles on the NBC show “Surface” and in the 2010 movie “The Kids Are All Right.” He was shot outside his girlfriend’s apartment in Grand Prairie, a Dallas suburb, around 1 a.m., according to his representative, Alan Mills. The actor was shot in the abdomen and taken to a nearby hospital, where he died, Mr. Mills said. – Advertisement –center_img Mr. Antone was arrested in Dallas, where he lives, a spokesman for the Grand Prairie police, Officer Mark Beseda, said by telephone on Thursday. The department has not released further details about the robbery, although a car was taken that did not belong to Mr. Hassell, Officer Beseda said.- Advertisement – “We believe that this was a robbery gone bad,” he said.Mr. Hassell, who lived in Waco, Texas, appeared in “Surface,” a sci-fi show about “a new, and often dangerous, species of sea life” that starred the actress Lake Bell and aired in 2005 and 2006, according to IMDb.He played the pill-snorting teenager Clay in “The Kids Are All Right,” and in the 2013 movie “Jobs,” Mr. Hassell played Chris Espinosa, who built circuit boards for a neighbor named Steve Jobs.- Advertisement –last_img read more

Ian Watson parts ways with Salford Red Devils with immediate effect | Rugby League News

first_img– Advertisement – Sky Sports brings you live updates as they happen. Get breaking sports news, analysis, exclusive interviews, replays and highlights.Sky Sports is your trusted source for breaking sports news headlines and live updates. Watch live coverage of your favourite sports: Football, F1, Boxing, Cricket, Golf, Tennis, Rugby League, Rugby Union, NFL, Darts, Netball and get the latest transfers news, results, scores and more.Visit skysports.com or the Sky Sports App for all the breaking sports news headlines. You can receive push notifications from the Sky Sports app for the latest news from your favourite sports and you can also follow @SkySportsNews on Twitter to get the latest updates. Ian Watson has left Salford Red Devils with immediate effect “The club were surprised and disappointed by Watson’s decision yesterday, following his previous statements of intent for the coming season, but understand his desire to continue his development through the experience of a new environment,” a statement said.More to follow…This is a breaking Super League news story that is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Please refresh this page for the latest updates.- Advertisement – Ian Watson has left Salford Red Devils with immediate effect
Ian Watson has left Salford Red Devils with immediate effect

BeYou transforming chair supports more than 10 seating positions » Gadget Flow

first_imgThe BeYou transforming chair doesn’t restrict your seating positions, so you can use it for working at your desk, reading a book, relaxing while watching a movie, taking a nap, and much more. Featuring over 10 seating positions, BeYou can adjust to your comfort levels and lifestyle. In particular, you can modify the headrest and armrest to hold your laptop as you work or watch a movie. In fact, each wing can adjust to five positions. These easy-to-make modifications don’t mean this transforming chair is flimsy. Instead, it boasts high-quality, curved foam cushions that support your back for long sitting sessions. Also, the auto-lock wheels keep you steady on both hard and carpeted floors, so you can use this in every room. Overall, BeYou offers more versatility than traditional office chairs. – Advertisement –last_img read more

JPMorgan’s Kolanovic says buy more stocks on vaccine news, market will look past latest Covid surge

first_imgPeople walk past the New York Stock Exchange in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 10, 2020.Carlo Allegri | Reuters (This story is for CNBC Pro subscribers only).JPMorgan’s top-rated equity strategist Marko Kolanovic said Friday that the positive news about Pfizer’s vaccine candidate was a “game-changer” that could help the market jump more than 10% in the next few months.Kolanovic, the bank’s head of macro quantitative and derivatives strategy, said in a note that the expected vaccine should spur investors to look through the rising Covid-19 cases this winter and focus on the economic recovery ahead. – Advertisement – – Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

Sports helped shape Biden. But expect a quieter fan in the White House.

first_imgAlthough Mr. Biden has not worn his sports allegiances on his sleeve — as Mr. Trump and many politicians have — playing fields have often intersected with his life, going back to his childhood, when sports provided a universal language of communication while he managed a stutter. He served as vice president under a noted sports fan, President Barack Obama, who this summer counseled N.B.A. players who boycotted playoff games in a protest of the shooting of Jacob Blake.“You see these two things happening in his life at the same time,” Evan Osnos, the author of “Joe Biden: The Life, the Run, and What Matters Now,” said, referring to Mr. Biden’s high school days. “One, he’s breaking the back of the stutter, and two, he’s finding his place on the football field. Those converged to give him this altered sense of himself, and that’s really the beginning of what was at that point almost a ludicrously ambitious notion of what he might be able to do in life.” President Trump has had a long association with sports, starting as a baseball player in his youth, and more recently as an avid golfer with something to say, often incendiary, about athletes and leagues.But the Biden White House is likely to bring a lower temperature when it comes to commentary and influence on issues related to sports, though not a lack of interest. President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. was a high school football player and dabbled in baseball and track and has pledged to dismantle Trump administration policies that, in his view, negatively affect transgender athletes’ access to sports and the way sexual assaults are investigated on college campuses.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Mr. Biden celebrated on the field when the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl in the 2017 N.F.L. season. The Washington Nationals have already invited him to throw out the ceremonial first pitch on opening day. (The White House declined the Nationals’ invitation for Mr. Trump to throw an opening day pitch in 2017, citing a scheduling conflict.) – Advertisement –last_img read more

Good Doctor’s Richard Schiff Hospitalized Amid COVID-19 Battle

first_imgListen to Us Weekly’s Hot Hollywood as each week the editors of Us break down the hottest entertainment news stories! – Advertisement – Hoping to heal. Richard Schiff shared an update about his health after revealing earlier this month that he and his wife, Sheila Kelley, had contracted the novel coronavirus.“Covid update. Thank you all for so much love and support. You’re making it so much easier for @thesheilakelley and me,” the Good Doctor star, 65, tweeted on Monday, November 16. “I am in the hospital on Remdesivir, O2 and steroids showing some improvement every day. Sheila is home and doing better but still fairly ill. Love you all.”- Advertisement – “Our discomfort because of the virus was pretty much done in two weeks and we had very different reactions, and that was odd,” he told The Guardian in July. “My wife lost her sense of taste and smell, she had severe nausea, she had a much higher fever than I did. I just had crippling body aches, I was very fatigued all the time and I couldn’t concentrate on anything for more than about 12 minutes.”Good Doctor Richard Schiff Hospitalized After Coronavirus DiagnosisRichard Schiff Rob Latour/ShutterstockAfter her COVID-19 diagnosis was revealed during a dramatic episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, the Good American cofounder, 36, recalled the “heart-wrenching” feeling she had while forced to isolate from 2-year-old daughter True in order to keep the little one healthy“I don’t care about how beautiful of a place you have, being taken away from your child – because I couldn’t be around my daughter … is the hardest part,” Kardashian said during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in October. “It was so incredibly scary. It’s still scary, but especially then when the whole world was shutting down and we didn’t really have any information, or the information we had changed every single day.”- Advertisement – Less than one week earlier, the West Wing alum announced to his social media followers that he tested positive for COVID-19 and was eager to make a full recovery.Sheila Kelley Richard Schiff CoronavirusSheila Kelley and Richard Schiff Eric Charbonneau/Shutterstock“On Election Day I tested positive for Covid-19. This has been the most bizarre week of our lives,” he wrote via Twitter on November 10, also revealing his wife’s diagnosis. “This is tough. We are determined to find a way to health again. We root for everyone out there who are struggling with this thing. Love from here.”Schiff is one of many famous faces — including Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson and Khloé Kardashian — to have been impacted by the global coronavirus pandemic since it began in March. Months after his battle with the rare virus, Hanks opened up about the unique ways he and Wilson, both 64, experienced their symptoms.- Advertisement –last_img read more

Twitter users push back on suggestion canceling student debt would ‘anger’ those who paid off loans

first_img“Student debt cancellation is a racial justice issue,” Rep. Ayanna Pressley tweeted.x Research Associate Anna Smith wrote of the authors’ findings in the study that student debt levels have increased rapidly in only three years, especially for Black borrowers, bringing to light “new urgency to finding a solution to the student debt crisis.”“Undoubtedly, these debt levels have risen due to the pandemic, adding increased economic strains to already vulnerable households and to the economy at large,” Smith wrote. In an example of how burdensome student loan debt has become Smith cited troubling statistics:”At 2016 levels, $50,000 in debt cancellation would alleviate the debt burden for 81 percent of Black households, but just three years later, in 2019, this decreased to 73 percent of Black households. With 2016 data, $50,000 in forgiveness instantly increased overall Black wealth by 40 percent—now it’s just 34 percent at that forgiveness level.” Although Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act in March and effectively suspended loan payments, halted collections, and waived interest on federal student loans through Dec. 31, Trump hasn’t given any indication that he’ll extend loan relief before Biden is inaugurated on January 20, potentially leaving the ball in the president-elect’s court.- Advertisement – Congressional Oversight Commissioner Bharat Ramamurti argued that student debt is part of the reason “we’re seeing declining home ownership and small business formation rates” and that canceling that debt as well as other forms of debt would have “a big stimulative effect.” “The latest data and research also show that broad debt cancellation will help narrow the racial wealth gap,” Ramamurti added. He cited a Roosevelt Institute report that calls for $75,000 of student debt cancellation entitled “Student Debt Forgiveness Options: Implications for Policy and Racial Equity.”- Advertisement – When asked Monday during a press conference on economic recovery if he would take executive action to achieve student loan forgiveness, Biden said his plan addresses it with $10,000 in student loan relief for public service workers for up to five years and a promise to make college tuition free for families with incomes below $125,000. He also said his plan addresses doubling the maximum Pell Grant award, and he has already vocalized support for a bill the House passed to cancel $10,000 in student loans per person. “It should be done immediately,” Biden said. center_img As someone who has worked to pay off her college loans, I’d tend to disagree. This whole concept of plaguing future generations because I couldn’t benefit from the relief seems more than a bit short-sighted.  “Student loan debt is holding back a whole generation from buying homes, starting small businesses, and saving for retirement – all things we rely on to grow our economy,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren tweeted Monday. “Executive action to #CancelStudentDebt would be a huge economic stimulus during and after this crisis.”- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

‘How Did We Not Know?’ Gun Owners Confront a Suicide Epidemic

first_imgYears earlier, when Mr. Demicco was just an employee at the store, he had reluctantly sold a gun to a woman who radiated unhappiness. But the store owner’s wife knew her and vouched for her. “Would you believe,” Mr. Demicco said, “the next morning, that same lady, to whom I sold a gun, took her 7-year-old daughter, drove to a remote location, and killed her daughter and herself.”In the years that followed, Mr. Demicco said, he took action that he believed prevented suicides on dozens of occasions. In one case, he said, a well-dressed woman came in, walked straight to the counter, pointed to a handgun and said she wanted to buy it, without ever making eye contact with him.- Advertisement – The poster reads, “Concerned about a family member or friend? Hold on to their guns.” It lists warning signs that a person might be suicidal, such as depression, anger, reckless behavior, a recent breakup or other setback, substance abuse and talk of “being better off dead.” – Advertisement –center_img “I said to her, ‘Should you be buying a gun?’” Mr. Demicco recalled. The woman started crying, he said, and confided that she had just been discharged from the hospital. He encouraged her to go home, and called her doctor on her behalf.‘How are you going to save lives?’The discussions that brought public health experts and gun owners together in New Hampshire gave rise to the Gun Shop Project, a coalition of public health and mental health practitioners, firearm retailers and gun rights advocates, under the aegis of the New Hampshire Firearm Safety Coalition.The project created suicide-prevention posters and fliers to distribute in gun stores that could be reproduced for free, on one condition, Mr. Demicco said: “You stick to the spirit and intent of our materials, which is not anti-gun but anti-suicide.”- Advertisement –last_img read more

Massachusetts officials issue tularemia precautions

first_imgAug 1, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – For the seventh year in a row, cases of tularemia are being reported on Martha’s Vineyard, where six cases of the rare respiratory form of the disease have occurred so far. See also: The MDPH added that cases of tularemia have occurred on Martha’s Vineyard every year since 2000, when an outbreak infected 15 people and caused one death. Symptoms of tularemia vary depending on the route of exposure. The disease is not spread from person to person; however, the MDPH noted that a few people have gotten sick after bites from infected pet cats. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the MDPH found that people on Martha’s Vineyard in whom tularemia developed appeared to get sick after breathing in contaminated dust, soil, or grasses while brush cutting, mowing, or performing other landscaping activities. Tularemia in the United States is usually linked to insect bites or handling carcasses of small animals, particularly rabbits. The disease is caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis, one of the six biological agents deemed most likely to be used by terrorists. CIDRAP overview of tularemiacenter_img The annual tularemia outbreaks have stymied public health officials because they raise questions about the disease’s reservoir and vector. Bioterrorism experts have a key interest in monitoring tularemia patterns in wildlife populations because it would better help them distinguish a natural outbreak from a human-caused bioterrorism outbreak. (See Aug 11, 2004 CIDRAP News article.) The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) in a Jul 27 press release said that the patients, ages 33 to 67, became ill between May 13 and Jul 5. All have been successfully treated and are recovering. Four of the six are employed as landscapers. Other prevention tips include avoiding contact with wild animals, their droppings, or their bodies; using gloves, a respirator, or eye protection when skinning or dressing wild animals; cooking wild game thoroughly before eating it; avoiding drinking water that may have been contaminated by wild animals; and protecting against exposure to ticks. CDC/MDPH article on tularemia on Martha’s Vineyard [Full text] While landscapers should take precautions, anyone working outside near lawn mowing or brush cutting should be careful, said Bela Matyas, DPH, MDPH medical director for epidemiology, in the press release. Precautions include clearing the area of dead animal bodies before using landscaping equipment and using a respirator while operating the equipment.last_img read more