The logos of Lyft and Uber are displayed in San Diego
A sign marks a rendezvous location for Lyft and Uber users at San Diego State University in San Diego, California, U.S., May 13, 2020. Reuters / Mike Blake

Washington Governor Jay Inslee on Thursday signed into a law a minimum pay standard for Uber and Lyft drivers across the Northwestern state, the first time a U.S. state is implementing industry-wide ride-hail earnings standards.

Drivers across Washington, with the exception of Seattle, will earn a minimum of $1.17 per mile and $0.34 per minute with a minimum pay of $3 per trip.

Under the new law, drivers will also have access to paid sick time, family medical leave and long-term care programs, and be eligible for workers' compensation, a U.S. government-mandated program that provides benefits to workers who become injured or ill on the job. Drivers will also be able to appeal should they be removed from the apps.

In Seattle, which passed its own ride-hail pay standard in Sept. 2020, drivers will continue to earn their minimum rates of $1.38 per mile and $0.59 per minute at a minimum of $5.17 per trip.

The law, which has been supported by Uber and Lyft, also takes away local regulatory power, banning cities and counties from implementing additional requirements for companies.

It further states that ride-hail drivers are not employees, a contentious issue between some labor groups and gig economy companies including Uber and Lyft.

The gig companies, whose workers operate as independent contractors, oppose any reclassification while some labor groups argue drivers should be employees with access to greater benefits.

"This new law decisively gives drivers what they want - to stay independent while gaining historic new benefits and protections," Uber head of public policy in the Western U.S., Ramona Prieto, said in a statement. She said Uber hoped the law could be replicated in other cities, states and countries.

The new Washington law has been supported by the Teamsters union Local 117, which was also behind the push for the Seattle pay standard.

So far in the United States, only Seattle and New York City have implemented minimum pay standards for ride-hail drivers.