Gov. Newsom signs new contractor protection labor law

Supporters consider the passage of AB 5 a huge victory for independent contractors to receive worker benefits.

Posted: Sep 18, 2019 5:34 PM
Updated: Sep 19, 2019 5:39 PM

CHICO, Calif. - On Thursday, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 5 into law, changing how workers are classified. 

The law would limit the use of independent contractors in the state, a measure fought for by rideshare drivers up and down the coast. But others consider Thursday's move a legislative loss. 

Assemblyman James Gallagher spoke to the matter Wednesday, asking legislators to exempt truck drivers who work as independent contractors. 

"They work for a lot of different people, they contract independently."

The new law would force those truck drivers to become employees of the larger companies they work for and possibly create more costs for the companies. 

Under the new regulations, employers must prove their workers are independent contractors, a classification certain companies have been accused of using to dodge labor protections like health insurance and overtime pay. 

Certain workers, such as doctors, hairdressers and real estate agents have secured exemptions from the bill.

The new law goes into effect on January 1st. Right now it is unclear how many workers will be reclassified as full-time employees by that date. 

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