Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Joins Workers Calling For Passage Of Labor Bill
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, joined with a group of local workers Thursday to call for the passage of a bill she authored that would limit when businesses and companies could classify employees as independent contractors.
Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5) would codify worker protections established in last year's state Supreme Court decision in the case of Dynamex Operations West Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles. If passed, the bill would reclassify thousands of California workers like Uber drivers and exotic dancers as employees, rather than independent contractors.
“If you’re a good worker, if you’re a truck driver, if you’re a janitor, and you’re working for the company, you’re doing the basic work for that company, you are their employee and you actually deserve everything that any of us in any other job get, Gonzalez said. “The right to minimum wage, the right to overtime, the right to paid sick days, paid family leave, unemployment insurance, workers compensation.”
The Assembly passed AB 5 in May and it currently sits in the state Senate as companies attempt to carve out exemptions for specific industries like ride-booking and food delivery services.
The bill has also drawn national attention due to support from Democratic presidential candidates and Senators Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, and Kamala Harris, D-California.
Taxi and rideshare groups, janitorial workers, and the Sierra Club all support passage of the bill. However, some healthcare workers are concerned it could have a negative impact on patients and prefer to stay as contractors.
Doctors and dentists would be excluded.