When it comes to protecting workers, California legislators like to be known as being on the forefront of the country. However, it has taken a while for the bill currently in the Assembly to get to where it is today. At The Kaufman Law Firm, our Los Angeles employment law attorneys who handle wage and hour issues want to talk about Assembly Bill 5, which aims to ensure that workers cannot be unfairly classified as independent contractors in order to save their employers money in unjust ways.
Sacramento has been busy over the last year. Legislators have felt they have a responsibility to the workers here in California, especially after the state Supreme Court strengthened the requirements that employers have to follow when classifying workers as independent contractors in the Dynamex decision.
Assembly Bill 5 seeks to help the nearly half a million California workers who work in a variety of industries that are considered independent contractors or freelancers. In other words, this bill would affect workers in the growing “gig economy.”
The problem that workers face is misclassification by their employers. By labeling a worker as an independent contractor, employers can avoid many expenses they would normally have to pay, including workers comp, benefits and insurance, and overtime pay. Independent contractors have virtually no protection, even though they often perform the same exact work that a regular employee does.
If the bill passes, it will require that many gig workers be treated as employees:
For example, an electrician hired by a restaurant to fix their socket can be considered an independent contractor. The electrician is not part of the restaurant’s regular operation and is not under the direction of the restaurant. However, an electrician working regularly for an electrical company and sent on jobs will have to be considered an employee.
We will have to wait and see how this affects major companies like Uber and Lyft. Their drivers are an essential part of the company, but they are considered independent contractors right now. This bill will be far-reaching, and we hope it ensures workers are compensated fairly.
If you have been the victim of unfair wage practices, you need to seek legal assistance as soon as possible. At The Kaufman Law Firm, we do not think employers should get away with willfully violating the rights of workers in California. We hope this new legislation fixes many of the loopholes used by employers, but we are always here to help workers who have been wronged gain the compensation they deserve. This can include:
Your job is more than just a source of income. It is a major part of your lifestyle. If you have been the victim of wrongful termination, wrongful demotion or any kind of discriminatory business practices, it is time to take action and contact a Ventura employment law attorney that can help. Attorney Matthew A. Kaufman and the team at The Kaufman Law Firm bring experience and a vast arsenal of legal resources to help clients recover the money they deserve.
To learn more, contact our Westlake Village or Los Angeles law office today and schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case.