La­bor bill still ap­plies to gig econ­omy, in­clud­ing Uber, Lyft

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - News - BY BRYAN AN­DER­SON AND ELAINE CHEN ban­der­[email protected] [email protected]

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.

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