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AB5: Newsom signs bill to rewrite California employment law

California business will soon face new restrictions on the use of independent contractors in a closely watched proposal signed by Gov. Newsome's law Wednesday, a decision praised by organized labor but unlikely to stifle a growing debate over rules and regulations. the nature of working in the economy of the 21st century.

Newsom, which signed Assembly Bill 5 in a private ceremony in its capitol cabinet, is already committed to adopting the new law. Legislators gave final approval to the encompassing new employment rules before last week's adjournment.

The new law "will help reduce the classification of workers ̵

1; workers are misclassified as" independent contractors "rather than employees, which undermines basic worker protections such as minimum wage, paid sick days and health insurance benefits," Newsom wrote in a signing message posted by his office.

According to AB 5, effective January 1, Californians will be considered employees of a business unless the employer can show that the work they perform meets a detailed set of criteria established by a Supreme Court ruling. of California last year. According to these criteria, an employee is an employee if his or her job is part of the company's core business, if the bosses direct the way the job is done, or if the employee has not established an independent trade or business.

The ruling and the new state law raises the bar for companies that may otherwise rely on freelance or contract work. The California bill is arguably the strongest of its kind in the country, giving the state and cities the right to sue companies for misclassification, repealing arbitration agreements that many companies use to protect themselves against workers' complaints. Proponents of the new law cite audits by state employment officials that nearly 500,000 workers have been improperly treated as independent contractors. Much of the early legislative debate on the bill focused on the low-wage sectors of the California economy.

"As one of the strongest economies in the world, California now sets the global standard for protecting workers for other states and countries to follow," Assembly author Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) said in a written statement.

But as legislation began as a way to formalize the 2018 ruling, it quickly became the focus of high-stakes lobbying on what types of jobs and industries deserve exemption from the new rules. Doctors, accountants, architects, agents still my properties, travel agents, graphic designers and investment advisers – along with many other professions – will not be subject to the strict rules for employees under the new law.

Other exemptions come with conditions Commercial fishermen are exempt except for unemployment insurance Barbers, cosmetologists and manicurists are only released if they set their own rates, pay directly from clients and plan their own appointments. Merchants are exempt provided their payment is based on actual sales, not wholesale or referral purchases.

While the new law outlines detailed standards for who should be considered an independent contractor, the complexity of different industries is likely to be a challenge for implementation.

Probably court cases on how to analyze the language of the law. Last week, San Diego City Atty. Mara Elliott filed a lawsuit alleging that food supply company Instacart had classified workers as independent contractors to avoid overtime pay, providing unemployment insurance and planning paid vacation breaks.

Few, if any, business groups believe the process will limit the rules for this to represent an employee should end with the entry into force of AB 5. The legislation was re-written half a dozen after its introduction last December, the result of intense negotiations in Sacramento to ensure that the bill will have the necessary votes from both Liberal and business Democrats in the state Senate and Assembly.

Not all industries and professions have been successful. Trucks that have their own platforms, for example, have not been exempted unless they deliver to a state-licensed construction contractor. It is unclear how many of the thousands of truck drivers serving the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach could be affected.

The final legislative rebate was made for the newspaper industry, lobbied by publishers, including the Los Angeles Times, for a year's delay in recognizing newspaper carriers as employees. This change is contained in a second piece of legislation that the manager has not yet acted on.

Those in the most well-known industry, left without final changes to an application-based bill in the California technology sector, insisted that they continue to seek relief from any new mandate to classify employees as employees. And as AB 5 makes its way through the legislature, the ongoing tension between many concert workers and contracting companies has reached a new high.

The legislation also provided delivery drivers and application-based drivers for the delivery of soap to collect for new worker protections and to continue their fight against low wages and arbitrary termination. Supported by the California Federation of Labor and others, hundreds of workers in the giant economy gathered at the US Capitol repeatedly to support AB 5. By the end, they had received support from several Democratic candidates.

Workers were against huge resources and reaching the technology companies at their disposal. Uber and Lyft, as well as postal employees and DoorDash, have been sending petitions and emails to the app for most of the year, seeking to convince customers and drivers that job flexibility – and the core of their business – is at stake. In the meantime, the companies met in private with union representatives, hoping to negotiate a deal that would allow them to continue treating their workers as contractors while providing some benefits.

Three companies – Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash – intensified political pressure last month by opening a committee on a $ 90 million campaign to address the issue to California voters in a 2020 vote. and the qualification deadline for next year's newsletter means that payment for signature collection efforts is set to begin this fall. Even tougher and more costly would be efforts to bring down AB 5 through a referendum. This option, however, will come with a unique benefit to opponents of AB 5: If supporters sign enough signatures, the employment law will be suspended until voters weigh in next November.

Application Economics Companies said Wednesday that they are looking to Newsom, which considers technical and labor groups to be long-time supporters, to help reach a truce.

"We are confident that with his leadership we can reach a historic agreement, but if necessary, we are ready to pass the issue to voters for safeguarding freedom and access, and drivers and passengers want it," a spokesman for Elevator said in a statement. Adrian Durbin.

Labor groups say more workers, including those in the technology sector, should be allowed to organize and bargain collectively. [19659002] "We will not rest until all misclassified California workers havethe solid protections they deserve, including the right to enter into or join an alliance, "said Art Pulaski, executive secretary of the California Treasurer La

Newsom on Wednesday promised to continue discussions with business and work groups, noting in particular

"I will convene leaders from the legislature, the labor movement and the business community to support innovation and a more inclusive economy by intervening where the federal government is lagging behind and providing off staff excluded from the National Labor Relations Act, the right to organize and collectively bargain, "he wrote in a signing message.

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