Prop 22 in Action
Well, that was fast. Mike Dickerson at Knock LA reports that Albertsons is firing their employees who provide delivery service at their Vons and Pavilions stores, and opting instead to only go through contract services such as DoorDash.
When Dylan’s grocery delivery arrived a few days before New Years, it came with some bad news. The delivery driver who brought his groceries from Vons mentioned that drivers across the state are getting fired by Vons, Pavilions, and other California stores owned by Albertsons Companies at the end of January. Stores will instead turn to a third-party delivery service using independent contractors.
A manager at a Southern California Vons delivery hub confirmed that as of February, Vons would be laying off drivers. A local Pavilions employee noted that they’re “no longer using drivers,” and shifting to DoorDash instead. Vons and Albertsons Corporate did not respond to requests for comment.
John Sowell notes at the Idaho Statesman:
Labor leaders see the California layoffs as a direct result of voters’ passage of Proposition 22 in November. It exempts app-based gig companies from a law that would have required the companies to classify drivers and delivery workers as employees. Instead, they can continue to treat them as independent contractors, who pay their own taxes and who typically aren’t provided benefits.
In these positions, the independent contractors not only go without benefits afforded employees, they also assume all the costs of the vehicle, gas, insurance, etc. They also don’t qualify for worker’s compensation should they happen to be injured on the job. And for the sake of any issues with service, it’s a lot easier to blame a third-party company than it is to take the responsibility (and therefore, the pride) that comes from providing that service directly.
As an interesting point of reference, The Penny Hoarder looks into how DoorDash works with groceries.
This is all very different from the terms I have worked under as a contract interpreter, which has a long history in the field where our work as contractors is very much part time with each agency, and it’s a standard professional practice which has been established for decades.