The founding partner was Camiel Becker interviewed by Univision KDTV on the unintended immigration consequences of the recently passed California Law AB 5. Becker stated that converting gig workers into “employees” under state law will help workers in general, but may also adversely affect undocumented workers. Currently, every independent contractor – including immigrants without a work permit – must present a social security number and undergo a background check to be able to drive for Lyft and Uber. However, he does not have to prove a work permit. If passengers are forced to classify their drivers as “workers”, employers must provide a valid work permit so that their drivers can continue driving. It is not known how many Lyft / Uber drivers drive without a work permit because employers do not have to track this information for independent contractors. If California law requires passengers to classify their drivers as “employees,” drivers without a work permit lose their jobs. If the number of drivers without a work permit is large enough, travel costs would likely increase as the number of drivers available in applications would decrease.
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