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Ending Worker Misclassification in California

September 12, 2019

By Joe Levine

With the passage of  CA  AB5 historic landmark legislation,  all workers in California – from nail salon workers  to app drivers – will now have employee protections in that state.

The California State Senate passed historic legislation to stop companies from misclassifying employees as independent contractors, denying workers basic protections like minimum wage and unemployment benefits. The bill, AB5, has passed with resounding support from grassroots worker-led labor organizations and unions. It now awaits the signature of Governor Gavin Newsom. It’s expected that this California landmark legislation will be duplicated and passed in other states.  Labor and community groups in New York are planning to lobby legislators to introduce similar legislation in the Empire State.

“Although the sun rises earlier for us in New York, our allies to the West were the first to welcome the light of a new day for workers in America, said NYTWA Executive Director Bhairavi Desai.  This victory for California workers wouldn’t have been possible without the incredible organizing of our allies in Rideshare Drivers United.”

“For too long, gig companies like Uber and Lyft have been allowed to operate under a different set of rules than all other employers – or no rules at all. The California’s AB5, now awaiting Governor Newsom’s signature, finally asserts one set of standards for determining employee status for all workers, putting an end to the chaos of poverty and despair gig bosses created in their pursuit of profits at any cost. Now all workers – will have employee protections if their work is part of the core services of the company that employs them,” continued  Desai.

“We need the same clarity for employee status here in New York State.  There is now a coalition of labor unions and community organizations, including our allies on 32BJ SEIU, standing together for an ‘ABC test’ bill in New York State. 

“The light shined first on California, but workers in New York will see our dawn soon,” concluded Bhairavi Desai.

September 12, 2019

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