ICYMI: Sacramento Bee: "California's new labor law is a work in progress. Here's how lawmakers could change it"

Monday, February 24, 2020

BY HANNAH WILEY
FEBRUARY 24, 2020

The California Legislature is considering nearly three dozen bills to clean up or repeal the landmark gig economy law …

Assembly Bill 5 limits employers’ ability to label employees as independent contractors,  …

…  Republicans want to overhaul it.

Proposals from Republicans include exemptions for a slew of workers like youth sports umpires, pharmacists, loggers and journalists.  …

REPEAL AND REPLACE

A crew of Republicans are leading the effort to chip away at AB 5, which they’ve called an “anti-worker law” that’s “decimated” industries.

Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove thinks minor changes to AB 5 are inadequate. She’s proposing a “repeal and replace option.”

Grove introduced Senate Bill 806 as a “much more expansive test” to classify independent contractors as employees.

“Independent contractors are being hurt by this anti-worker law and some have lost their ability to earn a living. This disastrous law must be repealed and replaced so Californians can once again have flexibility in the freelance economy,” Grove said in a statement.

CARVING EXEMPTIONS

Repealing AB 5 is unlikely, as is replacing it. But Republicans also wrote a bundle of bills that attempt to carve out exemptions for certain industries.

The proposals cover referees, musicians, newspaper carriers, loggers, ride share drivers, physical therapists, and franchisers. Most bills carry a companion measure in the opposite house.

“Californians providing for their families or earning extra cash shouldn’t be put in the middle of a union fight in the State Capitol,” said Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, after he introduced a bill to exempt ridesharing companies from AB 5. “The gig economy is an embodiment of the free-market and does not need to be over-regulated by Sacramento politicians.”

Republicans also wrote legislation to exempt small businesses and geologists. They want facilities that contract with companies that employ health care workers like podiatrists, surgeons and dentists to also be spared from AB 5. Marriage counselors could also be cleared. …

Click here to read the story in the Sacramento Bee.