Rideshare worker protection bill awaits Walz’s OK

A bill that establishes minimum compensation for trips on rideshare apps and forces companies to either provide evidence of wrongdoing for driver deactivation or give them a chance to be reinstated has passed the Minnesota Legislature.

Proponents say it ensures workers are adequately paid for their work and provides more transparency when companies move to drop them from their apps. However, Uber and Lyft have warned the legislation could double fares or result in the companies leaving Minnesota entirely.

Under the bill, drivers must be paid at least $1.45 per mile and $0.34 per minute for any trip that starts in the seven-county metro area. The per-mile rate is $1.25 outside of the metro. Those rates are subject to increases based on inflation.

Drivers will get a minimum of $5 per trip, and rideshare networks will be mandated to pay out all of their tips. Drivers will also collect 80% of the cancellation fee if they have already left to pick up a customer who changes their mind.

The bill also gives drivers recourse in the event of a deactivation — meaning they’re cut off from giving rides via a certain rideshare app.

Companies will be required to outline the circumstances under which a driver could be deactivated. If a driver is deactivated, companies will have to provide a written explanation of the infraction. Drivers will also have the right to appeal their deactivation, and if the company cannot show proof there was a rule violation, the driver will be automatically reinstated.

The bill also allows drivers who were deactivated any time after Jan. 1, 2021, to apply for reinstatement.

Minnesota House lawmakers passed the legislation on Friday, and the Senate followed suit on Sunday.