A few months ago, we discussed a new bill that was likely to be signed by California Gov. Newsom that would give wage and benefit protections to workers in the “gig economy.” Now, the governor has signed the bill, and the law is in effect. At the Law Offices of Kropach & Kropach, our workers comp lawyers in Los Angeles, CA are going to discuss some of the changes this law has made and how it could affect this large portion of the economy in California and across the country.
Gig workers are those with the least protection in the economy. They are independent contractors, afforded none of the basic wage or benefit protections everyone else has. That is why companies love to use them. Think about Uber and Lyft drivers. They are the main moneymakers for those companies, though none of them actually work for the companies. They are independent, and they have no minimum wage protections, no unemployment benefits, no workers’ comp for job-related injuries, and more. They have to pay double the taxed on their wages than regular workers, and they often put in long hours, well above what would mandate overtime pay in a regular job.
Gov. Newsome signed a bill into law that has begun to change the gig economy landscape. The law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2020, and will make it harder for companies to classify workers as independent contractors. This could affect more than just rideshare drivers. It will also affect janitors, construction workers, home health aides, and more.
Uber and Lyft have proposed an alternative to the legislation. Their option would set a base hourly wage for workers, set up a collective bargaining process, and allow them access to a “benefits fund” that could provide things like workplace injury protection and paid leave.
The California Labor Federation, a sponsor of the bill that passed and was signed, is opposed to that option, saying that companies should have to provide workers all of the benefits provided to workers guaranteed by state law.
Other states and gig workers across the country are watching how this plays out in California. As more and more of the economy shifts to gig work, this is a vital issue that needs to be tackled head-on.
If you or someone you care about has been injured at work and is struggling to receive the benefits they deserve, you should consider seeking legal assistance today. At the Law Offices of Kropach & Kropach, we believe that all workers deserve protection under the law. We are familiar with new legislation and will work to secure the compensation you need, including: