Skip to comments.Workers Resist California's Newest Bad Law
Posted on 01/04/2020 6:26:28 AM PST by Kaslin
I'd like to see everyone have a happy and prosperous New Year.
But I'm afraid a lot of freelancers and independent contractors in California are going to have it tough in 2020.
Thanks to Democrat lawmakers in Sacramento, in fact, hundreds of thousands of part-time Uber drivers and freelance writers like me could lose their jobs or face drastic cuts in their incomes.
The culprit is Assembly Bill 5, the "progressive" new state law that rewrites the rules for part-time "gig" workers and forces companies to reclassify their independent contractors and turn them into full-time employees.
As of Jan. 2, Uber and Lyft drivers, independent truckers, freelance writers, photographers, artists and musicians and the companies who hire their services have to abide by AB 5.
The law, which was originally concocted to destroy the business models of Uber and Lyft and has exemptions for 50 professions, is a cynical and transparent gift to unions from the same Democrats who have been wrecking my one-party state for decades.
AB 5's proud mother, leftwing Democrat Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego, claims it's intended to protect part-timers and freelancers from being "exploited" by their evil, greedy employers.
Her law is supposed to provide independent contractors with the same benefits and workplace protections that full-time employees get and - most important to the Democrats - therefore make it possible for them to unionize.
Given its leftist genes, it's not surprising that when AB 5 was signed into law last September unions, progressives and the Uber-hating liberal media were equally thrilled.
The liberal web site Vox, calling AB 5's passage "a historic moment" for U.S. labor, ran the headline "Gig workers' win in California is a victory for workers everywhere."
Ironically, however, Vox itself has become a victim of AB 5.
The law's many arbitrary and inflexible rules about who can work for whom and for how often include restricting freelance contractors at places like Vox from writing more than 35 columns or submissions per year.
Until the other day, Vox's parent company, Vox Media, had about 200 part-time freelancers from California under contract to write for its sports blogging network, SB Nation.
The media company could have reclassified the California freelancers as full-time employees to comply with AB 5, as it's in favor of forcing other companies to do.
Instead, the hypocrites running Vox Media reportedly decided to replace 200 freelancers with just 20 new part-time and full-time staffers.
Meanwhile, AB 5's completely arbitrary number of 35 contributions per year, per "independent contractor" affects me, too.
I'm still figuring out how to legally comply with law, but I can assure that I'm not planning to move out of the state.
The good news in this latest act of liberal political lunacy is that the legal experts say there will be years of court battles over the enforcement of AB 5, which has been accused, correctly, of being "irrational, vague and incoherent," not to mention unconstitutional.
The resistance has already begun.
The California Trucking Association has filed a lawsuit seeking an exemption for its 70,000 independent truckers.
Earlier this week Uber and Postmates, the courier services provider, asked a federal court to block the law.
And California's freelance photographers and writers are also seeking a restraining order, arguing that AB 5's rules will destroy their livelihoods.
I wish all the lawyers well in their fight against AB 5, but in the long run, it's probably going take a U.S. Supreme Court decision to undo all its predictably bad and unintended consequences.
For the poor un-mobile people living in CA, I'm not certain of what CAN be done. But for an aspiring contractor or musician or trucker, moving to CA sounds ill-advised.
AB 5 is an unmitigated disaster. I hope it wakes up a lot of people in the most ignorant state in America.
The good news in this latest act of liberal political lunacy is that the legal experts say there will be years of court battles over the enforcement of AB 5, which has been accused, correctly, of being “irrational, vague and incoherent,” not to mention unconstitutional.
Another Democrat jobs program for lawyers.
Gee....and I was wondering why I left my beautiful but politically inept state. Who is going to be first to inter a state mini revolution, California or Virginia?
“This writer” is Michael Reagan, President Reagan’s son. Of his three living children, Michael is the only conservative Republican.
Oh, I dunno. He can hang out, get job and join a union. Then he'll be set for life.
And his new employer will apply go/no-go Newspeak tests to his articles.
/s, for the satire-impaired.
Have you seen reports about the new water rationing law that will fine Californians a grand for using too much water?
Humorously: I note that it is only for indoor water use which makes sense if you realize that no watered lawns means a collapsed demand for lawn services and, as the Left is depending on Illegal Aliens to grow their power, they cannot risk any going home because work has dried up.
Highest bidders always gets laws passed in California (Cook County west).
Maybe Mr Reagan can wait it out or he has some LLC or Sub-S arrangement to insulate himself. If so, an article covering those fine points would be welcome.
And to start collecting payroll taxes for all those newly-minted employees.
Unionization (more $$$ union dues) and taxes (more $$$ from employers) is what AB 5 is about. Yet another liberal screwing dressed up as "helping".
I'm a transcriber contractor and have lost one of my clients, who will now hire ALL her transcribers from out of state. There is no way she could or would hire a single transcriber as an employee due to the nature of the business. Work is project based. When it comes in, it's divvied up and completed. Then you wait for the next project. A transcriber "employee" would be sitting around twiddling thumbs doing nothing, on the clock, waiting for the next project. Completely undoable.
Not just Uber but all of the shuttle services at LAX, Ontario, John Wayne, etc. have shut down. Your choice is to rent a car or take a very expensive taxi. This stupid law will now put more cars on the street and jack up rental prices.
No, Californians will NOT be fined $1,000 for using too much water.
The standard of 55 gallons per person per day for indoor residential water use is not intended as an enforceable standard for individuals. It is one of several elements used to calculate the overall efficiency standard for a service area.
Individuals will not be responsible for State Water Resources Control Board fines.
Sounds like word needs to get out for a 5-year moratorium on vacations to CA.
What’s this going to do to H1-B headhunter firms?
That should be one of the many key issues in California’s state legislative offices for 2020 beside Trump.
I would imagine they will be exempted because they have the powerful tech firms (who bribe politicians) lobbying to keep their cheaper labor train coming.
Industries that can afford lobbyists get an exemption from AB 5. Those that can't, don't.
Good news...graphic artists are exempt.
Yeah...and minimum annual tax for LLC in CA is $800
So move to Florida...LLC papers given out free at local Chamber of Commerce with free assistance in filing the one pager form...and no annual tax.
Yes, Californians will be fined $1000 for using too much water, just not directly. The water districts will pass through the fines.
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