Technology: California is close to reclassifying gig economy workers as employees - PressFrom - US
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TechnologyCalifornia is close to reclassifying gig economy workers as employees

15:40  11 september  2019
15:40  11 september  2019 Source:   engadget.com

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California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez celebrates committee passage of a bill to reclassify workers in California . California lawmakers are working on legislation that would change the ' gig ' economy by reclassifying independent contractors as workers in California .

The California State Senate has approved Assembly Bill 5, voting 29 to 11 in favor of requiring gig companies like Uber and Lyft to recognize independent contractors as employees. It's not a law just yet -- it has to go through the State Assembly and secure California Governor Gavin Newsom's signature after this -- but it's close to becoming one. The New York Timessays the State Assembly vote is expected to be a mere formality, and Newsom is expected to sign the bill into law, seeing as he endorsed it.

California is close to reclassifying gig economy workers as employees

If the bill does become a law, it'll go into effect on January 1st. Companies would then have to reclassify their contractors as employees, and therefore eligible for benefits such as unemployment, if they have control over how they perform their tasks or if those contractors' work is part of their core business. Its passage will most likely have a huge influence on other states' legislature and, as Obama-era Labor Department official David Weil told the NYT, "will have major reverberations around the country. "

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Supporters of a California bill that reclassifies contractors as employees outside the State Capitol in 1, workers must be designated as employees instead of contractors if a company exerts control over how Gig -type work has been under the spotlight for years as companies like Uber, Lyft and

New York Taxi Workers Alliance Bhairavi Desai said in a statement:

"For too long, gig companies like Uber and Lyft have been allowed to operate under a different set of rules than all other employers -- or no rules at all. The California's AB5, now awaiting Governor Newsom's signature, finally asserts one set of standards for determining employee status for all workers, putting an end to the chaos of poverty and despair gig bosses created in their pursuit of profits at any cost. Now all workers -- from nail salon workers, to delivery workers, to app drivers -- will have employee protections if their work is part of the core services of the company that employs them.

We need the same clarity for employee status here in New York State..."

Uber, Lyft threaten $60 million California ballot measure

Uber, Lyft threaten $60 million California ballot measure SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Uber and Lyft threatened Thursday to spend at least $60 million on a California ballot measure if they can't reach a deal with unions and lawmakers on legislation that would change the rights of gig workers. "We remain focused on reaching a deal, and are confident about bringing this issue to the voters if necessary," Adrian Durbin, senior director of communications at Lyft, said in a statement. The companies' team-up comes as California lawmakers debate a bill that would make it harder to classify workers as independent contractors instead of employees. As employees, workers are entitled to more wage protections and benefits.

While gig economy behemoths like Uber and Lyft are fighting tooth and nail to keep classifying their workers as independent contractors and not employees … They do, however, prompt one further uncertainty: should all gig economy startups be pushing to reclassify their workers as employees ?

Law would make it more difficult for firms such as Uber to deny workers are employees .

A last-minute change to the approved bill would give California cities the right to sue companies that don't comply. That said, Uber and Lyft -- both accused of bribing drivers to protest against employee status -- previously pledged to spend a combined $60 million to support a ballot initiative that would make them exempt from the legislation's rules. DoorDash also announced that it would contribute $30 million more to the initiative.

The New York Times

Uber, Lyft drivers are one step closer to becoming employees in California.
AB 5, a proposed bill to reclassify ride-hail drivers as employees, passes the state senate. Now it's headed to the governor's desk.

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