Bill aimed at changing California’s ‘gig economy’ passes Assembly

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SACRAMENTO (KRON) — The State assembly gave final legislative approval to AB5, with a 61-16 vote. 

This measure could shake up a number of industries across California.

“If the only thing that distinguishes whether somebody has rights and whether somebody is going to get some type of retirement security, social security, health care, workers compensation is the fact that you hire them through an app we’re all screwed,” said Assm. Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego).

Gonzalez is relieved the bill she authored is now on the governor’s desk.

In an attempt to protect workers from misclassification, AB5 redefines independent contractors as employees. it extends wage and benefit protections to those working for gig companies like Uber, Lyft, and Doordash.

 “What it’s forced us to do, not just us in California, but it’s forced the nation to look at what the future of work is going to look like, so this bill is important,” said Assm. Ian Calderon (D-Whittier).

Assembly Republicans pushed back in Wednesdays vote, saying the measure doesn’t equally protect workers and could be dangerous to california’s economy.

“We are playing a political Russian Roulette with their lives, their livelihood and their labor,” said Assm. Jim Patterson (R-Fresno).

Rideshare company Lyft warns riders could see higher costs and longer wait times.

Uber’s chief legal officer says his company is disappointed.

“We’ll continue to advocate for a compromise agreement, and we were encouraged by the government,” said Tony West, chief legal officer at Uber. 

But some state democratic leaders say what the companies have offered is not enough.

 “The alternatives they’ve been pitching to us are laughable,” said Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Los Angeles).

His could all set up a battle at the ballot box as Uber, Lyft and Doordash are ready to put up $90 million for a 2020 proposition.

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