Assembly Bill 5 has been in the news continually in California and throughout the United States. The legislation which aimed to define who can be classified as an independent contractor versus an employee has sparked major protests and lawsuits. Here, the Los Angeles workers compensation defense attorneys at Sacks & Zolonz, LLP want to discuss the recent issues concerning AB 5 as well as who is exempt from this law.
AB 5 was an attempt to codify into law a California Supreme Court decision defining how and when a worker could be classified as an independent contractor. The law was meant to prevent companies from exploiting workers by avoiding paying benefits, overtime, workers’ compensation, and more. However, major companies like Uber and Postmates have filed lawsuits to keep the law from affecting how they operate their businesses. Specifically, these two gig companies sought to put a temporary stop to AB 5 well they filed a lawsuit against the state.
A judge has denied their request and says that they must comply with the law while their case is ongoing. In a ruling, US District Judge Dolly M. Gee said that “The court does not doubt the sincerity of these individuals’ views, but it cannot second guess the legislature’s choice to enact a law that seeks to uplift the conditions of the majority of nonexempt low-income workers.”
As written, AB 5 carves out several exemptions for those who do not have to be classified as employees. This list includes:
Not included on this list are rideshare drivers or truckers, both of which have strongly opposed this legislation. Also not exempted were freelance journalists. The intent of this law was to encourage employers to hire independent contractors as employees, but the opposite may be happening. Many news outlets have informed their independent journalists that their services will no longer be needed. Some companies are choosing to work with freelancers from other states, while out-of-state companies are actively avoiding working with California independent contractors due to AB 5.
If you are facing legal trouble by not properly complying with California’s workers’ compensation laws, please seek assistance from an attorney immediately. At Sacks & Zolonz, LLP, we have extensive experience defending employers who may have made some mistakes when it comes to this area of their business. Our team understands that California employment laws are continuously changing and they can be hard to keep up with. This could lead to serious legal trouble. We want to make sure you continue to operate, and we will work to get any charges against you reduced or dismissed altogether. Contact our Los Angeles workers compensation defense attorneys for a consultation of your case by clicking here or calling 310-216-7778.