What is happening and why?

Onward’s technology platform is being acquired by RoyalCare and, as a result, Onward will stop operating as an independent company.

RoyalCare has partnerships with medical facilities throughout the Bay Area and has a much larger operation than Onward.

What do I as a driver need to do to keep driving?

  1. Sign up for a 30 minute virtual meeting, so the RoyalCare team can get to know you and for you to get to know them.

    • These will be scheduled for (July 14th, 15th and 16th). Click this calendar link to select the day/time that works best for you.

    • This will include a virtual inspection of your vehicle, which can be done using your phone.

  2. Review and sign a new Driver Independent Contractor Agreement and complete some additional onboarding steps

    • You will have time to review all documents and ask questions prior to signing

    • They will go over the details and requirements with you on your call.

    • This will include a checklist of everything that may need to be renewed or updated, like your 19 Point Vehicle Inspection, Background Check, MVR Check, Drivers License, Registration and CPR Certification.

    • You will be required (and given time) to complete a short onboarding training video, which will include driver safety training

  3. In the Onward Driver App you will see a Stripe Dashboard menu item. Click on that and setup your Stripe account. When you officially start driving for RoyalCare, you will be paid out using Stripe.

Is there a bonus or extra pay for doing this?

Yes! Each driver will get a 30% additional bonus on each ride payment, excluding tips and mileage reimbursements. This will be on every ride after the transition for 90 days after you sign your agreement (or the transition date if you sign before then).

To be eligible, you must average at least 1 trip a week through the 90 day bonus period and don't terminate the agreement before the bonus period ends.

Why do we have to convert from Onward W2 employees to RoyalCare independent contractors?

In the past election, there was a proposition called Prop 22 which was passed by the electorate. That proposition provides new benefits to transportation network drivers provided that the drivers are classified as independent contractors rather than employees. To get you access to these new benefits under Prop 22, RoyalCare is requiring all drivers who transition over to become independent contractors.

As a 1099 Independent Contractor You Will Receive:

  • A minimum earnings guarantee: Your pay is already well above minimum wage, but we guarantee to always pay at least 120% over the minimum wage for every hour you are driving.

  • Reimbursement for vehicle expenses: You will continue to receive $0.56 cents per mile for every engaged mile you drive in 2021. This amount will increase every year with inflation.

  • A generous health insurance subsidy: If you average 25 hours or more per week of engaged time in a calendar quarter, the company will pay you a stipend equal to the average monthly Covered California premium for a “bronze” level insurance plan. For 2021, that stipend amount is $499/month. This amount will increase every year as the cost increases. If you average at least 15 hours but less than 25 hours of engaged time, the company will pay you 50% of the average monthly Covered California premium for a “bronze” level insurance plan, or $249.50/month.

  • Automobile liability insurance: RoyalCare will provide you with automobile liability insurance up to the limits set in the California Public Utilities Code.

  • Occupational accident insurance: RoyalCare will provide you with occupational accident insurance to cover medical expenses and lost income, up to $1,000,000, resulting from injuries suffered while working.

  • Disability insurance: RoyalCare will provide you with disability insurance that will pay you 66% of your average weekly earnings, up to a statutory maximum, for up to 2 years from the date you became disabled while working.

  • Accidental death insurance: RoyalCare will provide you with accidental death insurance for the benefit of your spouse, children, or other dependents in the event of your death while working.

  • Protection from sexual or other forms of harassment: RoyalCare has developed a robust anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policy to protect you from unlawful discrimination or harassment while working.

  • Driver safety training: RoyalCare will provide you with driver safety training that will cover the following subjects: collision avoidance and defensive driving; identification of collision-causing elements; recognizing and reporting sexual assault and misconduct.

The ability to claim tax deductions that could reduce your income tax liability: Because you are operating as an independent contractor, you may have the ability to offset your earnings with automobile, gasoline, and other costs, which could reduce your overall income tax liability. Plus, your pay will not be subject to any withholdings for FICA taxes or state/federal income taxes, so you will see larger payments coming to you as an independent contractor compared to an employee. Speak with your accountant or tax advisor for more details.

How will my pay and benefits be affected?

RoyalCare will be offering you an overall better compensation package, including:

  • Hourly rate: This is unchanged and will be either $20/hr or $24/hr depending on where the ride is

  • Mileage reimbursement: This is unchanged and will remain $0.56 / mile

  • Standard Bonuses: Will continue to work as they do today

  • New Bonus for Transitioning Onward Drivers: In addition to the Driver Fare, Mileage Pay, and Surge Pay you will receive, you will also be eligible to receive a bonus payment equal to 30% of your total payout (excluding tips and reimbursements) for every ride you complete during your first 90 days as a RoyalCare driver.

Health insurance Subsidy: As discussed above, you will be eligible for a health insurance subsidy from RoyalCare if you average at least 15 hours per week.

How do Stripe payments work?

In your Stripe account you will connect your bank account. Each ride payment will flow through directly to your bank account 2-4 days after the ride completes. The first payment may take as long as 10 days.

Stripe may require some identification from you. If so it will ask for that as you are setting up your account.

After setting up your Stripe account you will be able to see all your historic payments in your Stripe Dashboard.

What else?

During your initial call with the RoyalCare Team, they will go over all of the next steps and timelines with you in detail, and you will have an opportunity to ask any questions or address any concerns.

We are all confident that this change will provide many opportunities and benefits to all of you, as well as our riders!

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