Thursday, January 9, 2020

AB5 battles - why pit segments of the self-employed against one another in the gig economy?

An unhelpful Tweet from the group Gig Workers Rising (@GigWorkersRise) that I responded to.

This isn't the time to pit one independent contractor group's rights over another's when the Gig Economy has different facets that were NOT acknowledged or accommodated by AB5. It's (exceedingly) bad law to boot, and to act as if the people hurt by AB5 are somehow to blame for incorrectly following the definition of an IC to begin with is horrendous.

But this is going to be hardball, online and offline, to right this ship. No one wins with acts like this. The best way to be effective is to communicate with and meet your lawmakers, write letters to the editor, and organize with positivity to assert why AB5 is harming your ability to make an honest living.

Side note: I looked up Gig Workers Rising, and gee, I'm sure it's a coincidence, but it's the same address of a chapter of the AFL-CIO-affiliated American Federation-Musicians that supported AB5.


Why was AB5 needed when SB459 was already on the books?  Senate Bill No. 459, passed and has been law since 2012 addresses misclassification:

"California already has a worker misclassification law it’s not enforcing: California Senate Bill 459 is an existing law that makes it unlawful for companies to misclassify workers. This law puts its money where its mouth is. It gives the state Labor and Workforce Development Agency the power to fine companies $5,000 to $25,000 per violation for willfully misclassifying workers and allows the state Labor Commissioner to assess additional civil and liquidated damages.

The law has been in effect since January 1, 2012 but so far has not been used to challenge worker misclassification at Uber, Lyft, or other Gig Economy platform companies."

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