California lawmakers have traditionally been in the front lines of protecting workers. However, it is has been hard to keep up with the rapidly-changing economy, particularly the area known as the “gig-economy.” This type of work is not new. We have always had independent contractors. What is new, however, is the vast number of workers who are considered independent contractors who are actually doing the work of employees. At the Azadian Law Group, PC, our Los Angeles wage and hour attorneys want to talk about a new bill that seeks to change this practice.
When employers hire someone, they are responsible for ensuring the worker is paid a fair wage, that they are paid overtime when it occurs, and that they have workers’ compensation insurance if they are injured. The employer is also responsible for paying payroll taxes on the employee. Being an employee means that a worker has the right to a safe workplace and one free from discrimination and harassment.
However, employers can avoid most of that if they simply classify an employee as an “independent contractor.”
Think of those who work for Uber and Lyft, as well as many of those who work in the tech industry. Over the last decade, the “gig economy” has exploded, and employers have managed to avoid the major expenses that come with having an official employee. That left millions of workers unprotected.
Assembly Bill 5 will change that. As of this writing, the bill has passed the state Senate and Assembly, and Gov. Newsom is expected to sign it into law. This bill, which would go into effect on January 1, will force many employers to designate workers as employees instead of independent contractors if they:
For example, It is perfectly fine for a “mom and pop” hardware store to call an independent contractor in to fix a leak in their store’s bathroom. However, it would not be okay for a plumbing business to hire an independent contracting plumber to go out on calls for the business.
This bill could reshape how many other states treat independent contractors. Fair wages and worker protections could be on the way for millions of workers.
If you think you have been mistreated with it comes to your employment classification of your wages, please seek legal assistance as soon as possible. At the Azadian Law Group, PC, we believe that all workers should be treated fairly by their employer. We will investigate your case and get to work securing the compensation you deserve. This can include: