[REGIONAL NEWS] Uber, Lyft couldn’t beat California employment rules, but these industries did

Uber driver and organizer Jeff Perry of Sacramento speaks in supporter of Assembly Bill 5 at the California state Capitol on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019. The bill would force “gig economy” employers to treat independent contractors as employees. / JPIERCE@SACBEE.COM

By Sophia Bollag | The Sacramento Bee

After millions of dollars in lobbying and countless hours of protests and negotiations, California lawmakers must make a final decision this week about the most high-profile labor bill of 2019.

Assembly Bill 5 would establish new rules that dramatically expand which workers are entitled to employment benefits and protections. Both employers and workers alike have battled for months over which industries will be exempted from the new rules.

On Friday, lawmakers submitted what the author’s office describes as the final round of amendments. Dozens of professions, from real estate agents to dog groomers, secured carve-outs that will let those workers continue to work as independent contractors.

Others including gig economy drivers and newspaper carriers weren’t given exemptions. That means they’ll likely be subject to the new rules under the bill, which codifies the 2018 California Supreme Court “Dynamex” decision that restricts when employers can classify workers as independent contractors and deny them benefits like overtime, sick leave and minimum wage.


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September 2019