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Uber, DoorDash Consider Coronavirus-Related Benefits for Workers

By Howard Smith - Mar 9, 2020 at 12:13PM

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Potential benefits follow a California bill pushing better treatment for contract workers.

Ride-sharing companies Uber (UBER 4.30%) and Lyft (LYFT 1.51%), as well as delivery services DoorDash Inc., Postmates Inc., and others are considering helping workers with COVID-19. 

The companies are getting together to determine a plan to pay workers who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or quarantined by a public health agency because of the coronavirus outbreak, according to reporting from The Wall Street Journal

A passenger pulls up the ride share app on their phone.

Image source: Getty Images.

Increased employee benefits

These potential benefits come on the heels of California contractor law AB-5, which went into effect Jan. 1, 2020. The law seeks to reclassify independent contractors as employees, allowing them to receive more benefits. 

While there are exceptions to the California law, and nuances affecting how it can be enforced, the decision to help employees whose income is affected by the coronavirus outbreak is another push in the direction of improved benefits for these gig economy workers. 

The plan being considered is to create a fund specifically to alleviate lost income due to the current coronavirus-related activity. The companies are currently discussing the potential benefit plan, and more detail will be revealed this week, per The Wall Street Journal.

Fox Business quotes Uber's Senior Vice President of Rides and Platforms Andrew Macdonald, as saying:

We are supporting drivers and delivery people who are diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed in quarantine by a public health authority. Drivers and delivery people in these situations will receive compensation for a period of up to 14 days. This has already begun in some markets and we are working to implement mechanisms to do this worldwide. We believe this is the right thing to do.

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Stocks Mentioned

Uber Technologies, Inc. Stock Quote
Uber Technologies, Inc.
$21.34 (4.30%) $0.88
Lyft, Inc. Stock Quote
Lyft, Inc.
$13.48 (1.51%) $0.20

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