Landmark Bill Offering Protections To Workers In California’s Gig Economy Heads To Governor’s Desk
“These so-called gig companies present themselves as the innovative future of tomorrow," said state Sen. María Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles). "A future where companies don’t pay Social Security or Medicare, workers' compensation or unemployment insurance.” Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, who was initially on the fence, endorsed the bill earlier this month and has committed to signing it.
Legislature Passes Landmark Bill To Regulate Gig Economy And Boost Worker Protections
A landmark bill, which would offer new wage and benefit protections to workers in California's gig economy and a host of other industries, is headed to the governor's desk. ... In steering more workers to employee status, the bill would force companies to offer basic worker protections that contractors don't currently receive, such as guaranteed minimum wage, overtime pay, contributions to Social Security and Medicare, and unemployment and disability insurance. Those workers would also be eligible for workers’ compensation and sick and family leave and would be protected from discrimination at work, none of which are currently afforded to contractors. (Orr, 9/11)
San Francisco Chronicle:
California Legislature Passes AB5 Gig-Work Bill, Which Could Turn Contractors Into Employees
Proponents say that companies call workers independent contractors to avoid paying minimum wage, overtime, workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance and a range of other benefits that can add 30% to labor costs. Misclassification costs California some $8 billion a year because of lost wages, taxes and expenses, as well as subsidizing social safety-net assistance for the workers, said the bill’s author, Assembly member Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego. But opponents, who include both companies and workers, say they value the flexibility of independent contractors. (Said and Gardiner, 9/11)
How Big Is The Gig Economy?
The California legislature has passed a bill that aims to force app-based platforms like Uber and Lyft to reclassify as employees some workers currently defined as independent contractors. So-called “gig” work on app-based technology platforms has increased dramatically since the Great Recession. But, taken as a whole, non-traditional work arrangements (including freelance and independent contractor work, contract, temporary and on-call work) have not risen dramatically as a share of work done by the U.S. labor force. (Hartman, 9/11)