Minnesota Governor Vetoes Gig Worker Pay Bill

Gov. Tim Walz of Minnesota on Thursday vetoed a bill that would have guaranteed a minimum wage and other protections for Uber and Lyft drivers.

“Ride-share drivers deserve safe working conditions and fair wages, and I am committed to finding solutions to these issues that balance the interests of all Minnesotans, drivers and riders alike,” Mr. Walz, a Democrat, wrote in a letter to the speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives. But he said that the legislation, which passed the state legislature last week, “is not the right bill to achieve these goals.”

The bill had been seen as a significant victory for labor advocates, who have been fighting for greater benefits for gig drivers across the country. Uber and Lyft treat their drivers as independent contractors rather than employees, meaning the drivers are responsible for their own expenses and do not receive health care or other benefits. The companies say their business model allows drivers to maintain the flexibility they want.

The legislation would have required Uber and Lyft to pay their drivers at least $1.45 per mile they drive with a passenger, or $1.34 per mile outside the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, as well as $0.34 per minute. It also would have established a review process letting drivers protest cases where they were deactivated from the platforms.

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