CITY OF INDUSTRY (CBSLA) — Dozens of people attended a rally in the City of Industry Monday to protest against California’s new law that makes it harder for companies to use independent contractors.

A protester at the Fight Against AB5 Rally in the City of Industry holds a sign calling for a repeal of the law. (CBSLA)

The law, known as AB5 or the gig worker law, went into effect Jan. 1 and requires employers to reclassify a number of independent contractors as employees — offering health insurance, benefits and higher wages in some cases — if they fail to meet even one of the following conditions:

  • The worker is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for the performance of the work and in fact;
  • The worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business; and
  • The worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as that involved in the work performed.

RELATED: Uber, Postmates File Suit To Block Gig Worker Bill Days Before It Takes Effect

Labor unions support the law that was passed to prevent the exploitation of freelancers, but opponents say the law is causing them to lose work.

“I understand that there are misclassification issues that I feel are very legitimate, but the law is so broad-stroke in how it defines employment and independent contractor work that it basically outlaws independent contractors in the state of California,” Brian Ralston, a freelance music composer, said.

The workers who spoke at the protest said they have already lost a substantial amount of work from employers who were going out of state for labor or simply not hiring extra workers.

Comments (6)
  1. mandyfard says:

    I help job seekers find new jobs day-in and day-out as a career coach. To date, I have INTERVIEWED and helped many of those drivers working for ride companies. Here is what they have told me time and time again: “When working as an independent driver, you do the work and get the money and it feels as though you got paid. But when you factor-in all the visible and hidden expenses that go into it, you realize that you really didn’t make enough money to make it worth your while, sometimes not even and minimum wage….”

    That said, I have read that Under AB5, employees will be entitled to benefits including:
    A minimum wageWorkers’ compensation, Unemployment insurance, Expense reimbursement, Paid sick leave, and paid family leave, as well as Opportunity to join a union.

    And now the problem is that the giant ride companies can’t afford it??????? really? I thought that if you MUST pay for something that is required by law, you generate the money and you pay for it. We all do, right? Isn’t that basis of everything? Or may be I have understood it all wrong.

  2. freedom fighter says:

    ride share is fairly new and most likely will evolve as the company and the drivers will shape the market. independent contractors have been around for many years and millions of Americans enjoy the benefit of being a freelancer, even in addition to their w2 job. AB5 missed the mark and has already cost millions in payroll costs and earnings to working California citizens. From all of us – AB5 can’t go away fast enough!!

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