Gig companies urging their workers to protest Lorena Gonzalez’s AB5 bill
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez’s bill, AB5, has already passed the state assembly but has many concerned about the impact on their personal pay, and company expenses.
The bill “creates a presumption that a worker who performs services for a hirer is an employee for purposes of claims for wages and benefits arising under wage orders issued by the Industrial Welfare Commission. Existing law requires a 3-part test, commonly known as the “ABC” test, to establish that a worker is an independent contractor for those purposes.”
The bill continues, “This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to codify the decision in the Dynamex case and clarify its application. The bill would provide that the factors of the “ABC” test be applied in order to determine the status of a worker as an employee or independent contractor for all provisions of the Labor Code and the Unemployment Insurance Code.”
Many gig companies are worried that this change of having independent contractors become employees would destroy their business models. They fear the increased cost of an employee versus a contractor would cause layoffs and the contractors fear losing their schedules flexibility and a decrease in pay.
The bill’s author, Lorena Gonzalez, claims the independent contractors will greatly benefit from becoming employees.
Uber and Lyft are some of the biggest and well known companies that hire independent contractors instead of employees. Gig companies like these have been warning workers they would lose the flexibility if Gonzalez’s AB5 is signed into law.
The Los Angeles Times reported Monday that drivers for Uber and Lyft who attended the July 9 rally in Sacramento were promised $25 to $100 to cover their “travel, parking, and time,” to be paid within five days of the event. The money came from the I’m Independent Coalition—a group funded by the California Chamber of Commerce, several other professional and trade groups, as well as companies—which also helped organize the rally, according to the paper.
The top executives from Uber and Lyft published an op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle that pointed out the major differences of gig work and the “forced schedules of rigid and hourly shifts of traditional.
Although ride sharing companies are the most well known to hire independent contractors, many other occupations like tattoo artists, hair stylists, photographers, fitness trainers and more prefer to work as independent contractors instead of employees.
This video from February 28, 2019 shows a group of exotic dancers protesting Gonzalez’s bill with signs saying things like, “Make Stripping Great Again.” More information on that protest can be seen here.