Labor bill still applies to gig economy, including Uber, Lyft
Uber, Lyft, and other gig-economy employers will continue to be subject to a proposed labor bill they oppose after a new version of the bill passed in Senate Appropriations Friday.
Assembly Bill 5, by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, would codify Dynamex, a California Supreme Court ruling that restricts when employers can classify workers as independent contractors and deny them benefits like overtime, sick leave and minimum wage.
Doctors, dentists, real estate agents, hair stylists, salespeople, among others, were already exempt from the bill. Lawmakers added provisions that would make exceptions for workers in marketing and human resources, as well as travel agents and commercial fishermen.
The news industry won exemptions for photographers, editors and cartoonists, but failed to make a case to continue treating newspaper carriers as independent contractors.
The bill now heads to the Senate floor.
Unless lawmakers compromise with rideshare companies before the measure reaches Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk, California could become host to a costly battle over the future of the gig economy.
Uber and Lyft have threatened to spend $60 million on a 2020 ballot measure to try to keep their workers labeled as “independent contractors.” DoorDash, a food delivery service, said it is willing to commit $30 million to the proposed initiative.
News organizations are also continuing to seek changes.
According to Gonzalez’ office, the latest version of the bill allows freelance journalists to provide a publication with up to 35 pieces of work a year before their status as independent contractors must be reviewed, up from a previous threshold of 25 submissions.