AB 5 Legislative Update

With the new legislative year approaching we thought it would be a good idea to give an update on the newest gig-worker law, California’s AB 5. We have previously covered AB 5 here, but essentially this bill set the ABC test as the official standard for independent contractors. There are a variety of bills aimed at amending AB 5 to include certain sectors into the exemption list. These bills include AB-1850, SB-1039,  AB 2465, and SB-990. You can review a full list of bills that involve amending AB 5 here

Here’s the rundown on some of these bills:

SB 1039- authored by Senator Galgiani 

  • “The Independent Worker Rights Act of 2020,”
  • Modifies existing AB 5 to develop a modern policy framework that facilitates independent work for those who voluntarily choose it by creating a third classification of workers with basic rights and protections relative to work opportunities

AB-1850- authored by Assemblymember Gonzalez

  • Employee classification: still photographers, photojournalists: freelancers
  • Exempts photographers who work under a contract that specifies in advance the rate of pay, intellectual property rights, and obligation to pay by a defined time, as long as the services are not replacing an employee, and the freelancer does not primarily perform the work at the hiring entity’s business location and the freelancer is not restricted from working for more than one hiring entity

AB 2465- authored by Assemblymember Gonzalez

  • Worker status: independent contractors: barbering and cosmetology
  • Exempts individuals licensed as an esthetician, electrologist, manicurist, barber, or cosmetologist

SB 990- authored by Senator Moorlach

  • Worker status: independent contractors: transportation network companies
  • Exempts transportation network companies from the application of Dynamex and the “ABC” test

And that’s not all! There are around 20 more bills being introduced that target specific industries who didn’t receive an exemption from AB 5 in the first round.. Even AB 5’s original author, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez is introducing multiple legislation to add more exemptions to AB 5.

In addition to this new legislation, the November ballot measure, introduced by Uber, Lyft, Doordash, and Instacart, is still ongoing as a part of their effort to gain an exemption from AB 5 while providing drivers with benefits. These companies are enlisting the endorsements of organizations like Fathers Against Drunk Driving and the California Police Chief association. The ballot measure has already gathered 1 million signatures. 

We’ll be keeping you updated on the ballot initiative as well as the legislative bills as they progress throughout the year.