California's Proposition 22 passes in big win for Uber and Lyft

Gig economy workers such as Uber drivers will still be classified as contractors on the roads around Silicon Valley's tech giants.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Uber driver were denied employment protection and benefits by California voters.

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As US election results continue to roll in, one measure that has passed is California's controversial and bitterly fought Proposition 22. The proposition allows companies such as Uber, Lyft and Instacart to avoid providing benefits, health insurance or minimum wage to the people who work for them.

Proposition 22 won approval with 58% of the ballots favoring it, according to the California Secretary of State's Office. The ballot measure exempts gig economy companies from treating drivers and workers as employees. Although workers are granted some benefits by the measure, they'll continue to be considered as independent contractors.

The outcome in the home state of Silicon Valley, where tech companies spent hundreds of millions of dollars to persuade voters, is likely to have national and even global implications as countries and cities around the world wrestle with the employment status of gig economy workers.