Press Releases

Warner Responds to California Labor Ruling on Uber Drivers

Warner has called on federal policymakers to address the opportunities and challenges of the on-demand workforce and “gig economy”

Jun 17 2015

WASHINGTON – Today, in response to a claim brought by a San Francisco-based Uber driver, California labor regulators ruled that drivers for the ride-hailing company are employees, not contractors, because Uber is “involved in every aspect of the operation.”

“Today’s ruling from the California labor regulators demonstrates why federal policymakers need to reexamine the 20th Century definitions and employment classifications we’re attempting to apply to a 21st Century workforce,” said U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA.) “As many as one-third of American workers are participating in some aspect of the contingent workforce, and we have a responsibility to provide clarity and predictability instead of allowing inconsistency and confusion as these issues are litigated on a case-by-case and state-by-state basis.”   

On Jun. 4, in a major policy address at the New America Foundation in Washington, D.C., Sen. Warner laid out some of the legal and economic issues lawmakers need to address in order to respond to the rise of an increasingly on-demand economy powered by freelance workers who lack the social safety net protections that employers traditionally provided. Sen. Warner argued that Washington  mostly has remained on the sidelines as the U.S.  economy, its workforce, and the workplace have undergone perhaps the most dramatic transformation in decades. Sen. Warner, a former business executive, is committed to working with his colleagues, stakeholders, and the growing “gig economy” workforce to put forward practical solutions to keep up with this fundamental shift in the economy.