Uber Seeks Staff Support for Proposal on Drivers as Contractors

Uber app

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Ride-hailing giant Uber Technologies Inc. outlined ways staff can support a state measure that would designate drivers as contractors rather than full-time employees, seeking additional backing for a controversial initiative that labor unions and at least one in-house engineer have publicly opposed.

In a companywide email Friday obtained by Bloomberg, Uber’s head of global public policy Justin Kintz said data “show a tight race” to pass California’s Proposition 22, a measure written and funded by Uber, Lyft Inc. and other gig companies that would replace an earlier law designed to treat drivers as employees. Kintz’s email, which includes links to talking points from the Yes on 22 campaign, also suggests ways employees can get involved, including joining a texting bank, and links to a sample email staffers can send to family and friends. Uber will have a special Town Hall-type meeting Oct.

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Trump administration targets diversity hiring by contractors

Trump’s Labor Department is using a 55-year-old presidential order spurred by the Civil Rights Movement to scrutinize companies like Microsoft and Wells Fargo over their public commitments to diversity. Government letters sent last week warned both companies against using “discriminatory practices” to meet their goals.

Microsoft has brushed off the warnings, publicly disclosing the government inquiry and defending its plan to boost Black leadership.

But advocates for corporate diversity initiatives worry that more cautious executives will halt or scale back efforts to make their workplaces more inclusive out of fear that a wrong step could jeopardize lucrative public contracts. The agency has oversight over the hiring practices of thousands of

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Seattle startup Level sees growth for flexible credit service used by independent contractors

Level CEO David Edelstein. (Level Photos)

Millions of independent contractors are making money in the gig economy, but many don’t have access to financial credit services to help grow their personal microbusinesses.

Level wants to help. The Seattle startup partners with marketplace platforms such as Dolly and Keepe, which use Level to offer workers flexible credit options that are only paid back when they earn.

Level CEO and founder David Edelstein said the company is seeing traction amid the pandemic as both supply of workers and demand for on-demand services rises. Level is on track to extend more than $1 million in cash advances by the end of the year.

“We identified an opportunity to empower people in the rapidly growing on-demand economy to grow their microbusinesses, while addressing challenges faced by labor marketplaces seeking to grow their companies,” Edelstein said.

Level graduated from Techstars Seattle last year. Edelstein previously

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