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Andrea, Esq.
Andrea, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 11696
Experience:  25 yrs. experience in family law, estates, real estate, business law, criminal defense, immigration, and employment law.
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I am a San Francisco taxi driver. Each year I renew my A-Card

Customer Question

I am a San Francisco taxi driver. Each year I renew my 'A-Card' which permits me to operate a taxi in SF. After doing so, i automatically receive a SF business license in the mail, even though I did not register for it separately. The City, in doing this, is declaring that I'm an independent contractor and am self employed. However, it also has regulatory policy that legally prohibits me from significantly investing in my own equipment such as a car, and requires that I lease a cab from a cab company. My income depends upon very specific hours. Yet I cannot establish my own hours. The cab company has absolute control over the hours, choosing whether I may work the busy shifts or only the slow shifts. This effects my income. And I must ask a 'boss' in order to petition for the shifts that I want.

Is San Francisco's law preventing me from establishing my own business hours, thus restricting my income potential, a violation of California's unfair competition law, or any law?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your question

 

Although San Francisco's law is restrictive, it does not violate any unfair competition laws or any "restraint of trade" laws because there is a valid public purpose in mandating where taxi drivers rent their taxis. It is a safety factor and the manner in which San Francisco can regulate the condition of a vehicle which is to be used as a taxi. You have to keep in mind that not every taxi driver is as concerned as you are with maintaining their vehicles in top running order and with the safety of their passengers.

 

I believe that your addressing this issue at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency was an excellent idea, but since there has been a lot of enthusiasm, but little action to effect your ideas, I would suggest that you address the agency again, but this time, take with you a Petition signed by as many other taxi drivers who feel the same way as you do and encourage as many taxi drivers to as possible to attend the meeting with you. It is very true that there is strength in numbers.

 

I wish you the best of Luck !!!

 

 

 

That is the only way I get paid

 

Positive Feedback, BONUS, are not required, but very much appreciated

_______________________________________________________

 

 

 

ANDREA, JD, LLM

MEMBER, NY & PA BAR

 

Don't forget to leave positive feedback!

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks Andrea,

On the safety issue, SFMTA regulates all taxis in SF. Therefore, under my proposal to the MTA, any new taxis operating under a new single operator license would be subject to the same regulations, safety inspection requirements, and all other requirements as other privately owned or company owned taxi vehicles operating in the City. My question, more specifically, is how can the City mandate that I maintain a business license as if I were an independent business owner, yet prevent me from operating in a way consistent with being an independent contractor? It subjects me to employee like conditions.
Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 4 years ago.

I understand what you said about San Francisco regulating all taxis and I had addressed that issue in the first Answer I attempted to give you, but because of some tech problems we are having, the Answer got lost someplace in cyberspace and I had to type it over again. I left it out the second time around because I did not want you to wait any longer for your Answer

 

Does the taxi company from whom you rent your taxi give you a 1099 or a W-2 at the end of each year ?

 

ANDREA, JD. LLM

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
No problem Andrea, thanks for the reply.

The answer is neither. I have worked for two cab companies over a period of over 8 years. Neither has provided either a 1099 or W2 for any of those years.
Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 4 years ago.

If you had said that the taxi company gives you a W-2 at the end of the year, I would have said that the City of San Francisco cannot treat you as an independent contractor if you have all the indicia of an employee.

 

Although you work with some of the conditions usually associated with an employer-employee relationship (Not being able to select your hours, having to petition for certain shifts), there apparently are more characteristics in your work relationship that resemble an independent contractor and that is why the City of San Francisco is treating you like an independent contractor. However, despite being placed in that category, it would not be treated as promoting unfair competition or restraining trade because, as I previously stated, the City's argument will be that the regulation was put into effect for safety reasons. That is why I suggested getting more support from other taxi drivers so that your ideas can be pushed forward and finally go into effect.

 

_______________________________________________

 

 

That is the only way I get paid

 

Positive Feedback, BONUS, are not required, but very much appreciated

_______________________________________________________

 

 

 

ANDREA, JD, LLM

MEMBER, NY & PA BAR

 

Don't forget to leave positive feedback!

 

 

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