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Minneapolis House Delegation Celebrates Legislation Benefitting Rideshare Drivers

Sunday, May 19, 2024

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Today, the Minnesota House passed HF 4746, legislation to increase pay and protections for drivers of technology network companies (TNC), commonly known as rideshare companies. Lawmakers representing the city of Minneapolis celebrated the agreement, which increases rates for drivers by 20%, includes the most protective insurance provision for TNC drivers in the country, and ensures a fair process when drivers are deactivated from the platforms.

“I’m proud of our city and state delegation for working together on a nation-leading bill that delivers for drivers not only in Minneapolis, but across our state,” said Rep. Samantha Sencer-Mura (DFL – Minneapolis), the chair of the Minneapolis Delegation of the Minnesota House of Representatives. “Throughout this process, both the state and the city were focused on balancing the needs of drivers while ensuring we keep critical transportation services running. We can all be proud of this win.” 

“My message has not changed since we did this work last year: if your business relies on keeping your workers in poverty, you don’t have a viable business model, and you need to do better here in Minnesota,” said Rep. Hodan Hassan (DFL – Minneapolis), the bill’s author. “We will not tolerate bad actors exploiting hardworking Minnesotans to pad their corporate pockets. We have heard countless stories of pain and suffering from the drivers at the hands of TNC companies, and the protections established in this bill will drastically improve working conditions for an entire workforce so many of us rely on. 

The bill establishes minimum compensation rates of $1.28 per mile and 31¢ per minute while drivers are transporting riders. Other changes to the payment structure include establishing a minimum trip compensation of $5, ensuring 80% of trip cancellation fees and 100% of tips go to the driver, requiring drivers to be paid at least once every 14 days, and adjusting rates commensurate with inflation in the same manner the state’s minimum wage is adjusted.  

“All Minnesotans deserve a job with fair pay and benefits, but for too long, rideshare drivers have been paid below minimum wage without standard workplace protections,” said Rep. Jamie Long (DFL – Minneapolis), the House Majority Leader. “This agreement is a huge victory for drivers, passengers, and our community. In an economy that’s often tilted in favor of large corporations, I’m excited to see the results of organizing and unwavering advocacy by drivers.” 

Uber and Lyft hire drivers as independent contractors. This leaves drivers responsible for both employer and employee taxes and expenses, exempts the company from providing benefits, and excludes drivers from many standard workplace protections. In addition to payout cuts, this has left most rideshare drivers earning less take-home pay than they did 10 years ago, despite the increase in rideshare popularity and increased cost of living.  

“City Council Members who held firm in passing local legislation that is strong in comprehensively protecting workers last year and this year—forced the conversation and made the strongest statewide legislation in the county protecting TNC drivers possible,” said Aurin Chowdhury, Minneapolis City Council Member for the 12th Ward & Intergovernmental Relations Committee Chair. “We thank the state authors, Minneapolis Delegation, POCI Caucus, and Queer Caucus for working with us closely over the last two years to achieve this outcome. In the end, all credit is due to the drivers, who are essential both to rideshare and to the delivery of better working standards for 10,000 drivers across Minnesota.”

Earlier this year, the Minneapolis City Council passed an ordinance to implement minimum pay rates for drivers. The bill the House today preempts the ordinance, setting rates across the state for a more uniform pay structure.

HF 4746 creates ground rules for TNC companies deactivating individual drivers, including providing a written policy on deactivation, sending a warning to drivers who are at risk of deactivation, and a process for reconsideration for drivers who are deactivated. It also requires TNC companies to provide drivers with a detailed breakdown of mileage, travel time, and minimum compensation before accepting a ride request, as well as a receipt after the ride is complete and a weekly summary of all trips. The bill also requires TNC companies to maintain personal injury insurance for drivers that covers medical expenses, lost income, and other benefits.

Following House passage of the measure, the provisions of the bill are expected to be included in the Transportation, Labor, and Housing supplemental budget bill.