By Tracey Lien
Los Angeles Times
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Drivers for Uber and Lyft in San Francisco will have to either register as a business or face a penalty. Registration costs $91 a year and can be done online. The move helps reaffirm the companies’ position: Drivers should be treated as independent contractors, not as employees. Both Uber and Lyft have been tied up in class-action lawsuits filed by drivers seeking to be classified as employees. For women in business who are dealing with employee/independent contractor issues; it may be a good idea to keep your eyes peeled as to what’s happening in San Francisco.
San Francisco is urging some 37,000 Uber and Lyft drivers to register themselves as businesses, adding red tape that could hurt ride-hailing companies’ bid to grow their workforce, but also helping affirm that those drivers are independent contractors, not employees.
City Treasurer Jose Cisneros said Friday his office had mailed notices to 37,018 people identified as drivers for transportation network companies.
A spokeswoman for Cisneros said that because of taxpayer confidentiality laws, the office of the treasurer and tax collector could not discuss how it obtained the drivers’ data, only that it follows nearly two years of enforcement work, “including multiple requests for information and subpoenas to get sufficient data about business operations from TNCs domiciled in San Francisco.”
“I take seriously my obligation to fairly implement San Francisco’s business registration requirements,” Cisneros said in a prepared statement. “I urge all the people receiving this notice, and all unregistered businesses operating in San Francisco, to take prompt action to come into compliance immediately.”
Drivers who receive the notice will have to either register as a business or let the city know they no longer drive for a ride-hailing company within 30 days, or face a penalty. Registration costs $91 a year and can be done online.