A driver and passenger wearing protective masks exit the ride sharing pickup area in a car displaying Uber Technologies signage at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Monday, May 4, 2020. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Leonardo Diaz is in a tough spot.
Diaz, a driver for Uber and Lyft, has been unemployed for more than two months.
The 51-year-old hasn’t picked up riders for fear of contracting Covid-19 and, in turn, infecting his family.
But Diaz, a Los Angeles resident, is also afraid to apply for unemployment benefits, as nearly 39 million Americans have done since mid-March amid to the coronavirus pandemic.
Diaz is torn.
On one hand, he needs the financial assistance. But on the other, he thinks applying for unemployment could undermine his and other Californians’ fight against Uber and Lyft and other companies in the gig economy to be considered employees instead of independent contractors.
“I feel like…