Assembly Passes Bill Outlawing Independent Contractor Status in Most Industries

POSTED BY CHRIS JENNEWEIN ON MAY 29, 2019 IN POLITICS credit to Times of San Diego for breaking news

The state Assembly took aim at the growing gig economy in California by passing a bill Wednesday that outlaws the use of independent contractors in most industries.

Assembly Bill 5, authored by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego, would codify into law a state Supreme Court decision last last year that defined independent contracting status.

California works ranging from Lyft and Uber drivers to software developers and freelance writers would be required under the bill to become employees of any company they do work for.

“Big businesses shouldn’t be able to pass their costs onto taxpayers while depriving workers of the labor law protections they are rightfully entitled to. Thank you to my Assembly colleagues for the bipartisan support today,” said Gonzalez in a tweet.

The bill specifies that an independent contractor can only perform “work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business.” Otherwise, the contractor must become an employee.

Lobbyists for various affected industries have been able to carve out exceptions in the text of the bill. Those include insurance agents, some health care professionals, stock brokers, real estate agents and hairstylists.

Lyft and Uber have been particularly vocal in opposition to the measure. “Lyft strongly opposes AB 5, which would force ridesharing drivers into shift work, eliminating the control drivers currently have over their own schedules,” the company said in a statement after the vote.

California labor unions were major supporters of the bill and cheered the vote. “We applaud the the California Assembly for standing with workers by passing AB 5. We can’t continue to devalue the California Dream by allowing greedy employers misclassify and shortchange workers,” said SEIU California on Twitter.

The measure must still be passed by the state Senate and signed by the governor to become law.

About Daniel McKenna

Dan McKenna
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