Rideshare drivers rally against California bill that would redefine gig workers

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SACRAMENTO (KRON) — A group of rideshare drivers rallied at the state Capitol Thursday, hoping lawmakers hold off on Assembly Bill 5. 

 “AB 5 would be a catastrophic blow to communities of color, it would reduce the number of drivers and mean longer wait times and higher costs for passengers,” President of the California NAACP Alice Huffman. 

The bill would redefine many independent contractors, like Uber drivers,  as employees.

Supporters say companies misclassify workers to get around labor laws. 

But opponents worry, reclassification could clash with other state laws that could keep uber and lyft from offering the flexibility the companies do now.

“The flexibility allows me to be a mother, allows me to work full time,” said Doordash driver Tamara Krake. 

Krake says change is needed in the gig economy but is urging lawmakers to do it in a different way.

“We should see protection for the drivers, we should see some benefits, a lot of things companies can do for the drivers, but without having to change from employee to independent contractor,” she said. 

California’s AB 5 reached the national spotlight this week.

Some Democratic presidential candidates are pushing for the bill’s support, like Elizabeth Warren.

The candidate tweeted Thursday in part: ” This is a crucial moment in the fight for workers in this country, and it’s time for us to show whose side we’re on.”

With a month left to pass legislation, some lawmakers have said its likely negotiations on the bill will continue into next year.

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