[REGIONAL NEWS] California Assembly moves on Uber, Lyft driver’s employment status

A driver with the Lyft and Uber decals on his vehicle cruises Hollywood, California./Frederic J. Brown / AFP/Getty Images

For Uber and Lyft drivers, among others, the law would mean a bevy of legal rights and protections, including better pay, benefits and the ability to unionize.

By Cyrus Farivar | NBC News

California’s lawmakers on Wednesday took their first major step toward settling the debate about whether Uber and Lyft drivers are employees or contractors.

The state Assembly passed Assembly Bill 5, which would enshrine a 2018 California Supreme Court ruling that laid out a three-part “ABC” test to determine when a worker can be considered a contractor, factoring in the kind of work being done and the business of the hiring company.

The 2018 case, first brought more than a decade ago by a driver for a parcel and document delivery company, was initially celebrated by labor activists, who believed it would establish the precedent necessary for drivers and many other contract workers to receive the benefits and protections legally afforded to employees in California.

But in the more than a year since the ruling, known as Dynamex, few major gig-economy companies have converted their workforce from contractors to employees.


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