Supporters of AB5 Rally in San Diego
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, will join with local workers Thursday to call for the passage of a bill she authored that would limit when businesses and companies could classify employees as independent contractors.
Assembly Bill 5 would codify worker protections established in last year’s state Supreme Court decision in the case of Dynamex Operations West Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles. If passed, the bill would reclassify thousands of California workers like Uber drivers and exotic dancers as employees rather than independent contractors.
There are some oppositions from some rideshare drivers who fear the passage of the bill would take away their ability to work when they want to.
Opponents said the bill doesn’t accurately reflect today’s realities. They are concerned it would move the state backward by eliminating their choice to work independently.
They also argue that many people drive for Uber and Lyft to earn extra money to supplement their day job. If the drivers become full-time employees, they will no longer be able to continue driving part-time. This will leave a considerable gap in the transportation that millions of consumers rely on every day.
The two giant ride-sharing companies, Uber and Lyft, are by far the most vocal opponents of the bill.
The Assembly passed AB 5 in May and it currently sits in the state Senate as companies attempt to carve out exemptions for specific industries like ride-booking and food delivery services. The bill has also drawn national attention due to support from Democratic presidential candidates and Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, and Kamala Harris, D-California.
Janitorial workers and representatives of Rideshare Drivers United in Southern California, the United Taxi Workers Alliance, the Employee Rights Center and the Sierra Club are expected to join Gonzalez at the rally and news conference to call for AB 5’s passage. The rally is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. at Waterfront Park.