San Diego

California Lawmakers Consider Changing How Companies Classify Employees as Independent Contractors San Diego

A proposed law in California would make it more difficult for companies to classify employees as independent contractors. 

Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) would codify last year's landmark Dynamex decision by the California Supreme Court that established a clear standard for determining who is an employee and who is an independent contractor. 

Supporters of AB5 are asking for a $30/hour minimum wage, for the rideshare companies to recognize their union, driver security, job security, cap on rideshare drivers to reduce traffic and carbon emissions.

The $30/hour wage would give workers the ability to cover expenses and still earn a minimum wage.

While several people who identified as rideshare company drivers spoke in support of the legislation however one man said there are rideshare drivers who think the bill is helpful.

“I don’t think the AB5 is the solution to our problem,” said one man who identified himself as a Lyft driver.

“Most drivers think that AB5 is going to backfire on the drivers,” he said.

California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez authored the bill. She said many companies are failing to follow the law. 

In addition to expanding workers' rights, Gonzalez said the legislation would save the state millions of dollars it loses each year due to worker misclassification. 

However, an analysis by the state Senate Appropriations Committee suggested AB5 would cost the state millions in implementation. The analysis also said the legislation could result in unknown, potentially significant costs to the Medi-Cal program. 

The legislation is up for a vote by legislative committee on Friday.

Ed. Note: We have clarified the request by supporters of AB5 to explain that a higher hourly wage would allow workers to cover expenses and still earn a minimum wage. 

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