Written by Michael Palomba
Two desperately needed AB 5 relief bills have been rejected by the State Senate Labor, Public Employment, and Retirement Committees.
SB 806, authored by Senator Shannon Grove, and SB 990, authored by Senator John Moorlach, would’ve allowed the gig economy to thrive once more. Unfortunately, the Democratic-led committees would not budge.
Many were disappointed and even disgusted by this outcome, knowing that workers throughout California are struggling. Senator Pat Bates is well aware of this reality, and expressed her frustration.
“A partisan committee, with all Democrats voting ‘no,’ has once again let down workers who want to remain independent contractors. Only the committee’s Republican member stood up for the contractors by voting ‘aye.’ The ‘no’ votes are yet another blow to workers in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The law should treat everyone fairly, instead of creating winners and losers as AB 5 has done,” Bates said.
She’s exactly right, as Democrats have voted down any and all efforts to repeal or reform AB 5, showing that their allegiance is with powerful labor unions rather than workers.
“As disappointing as today’s outcome was, I will continue to stand up for independent contractors who are fighting for their economic freedom,” Bates added. “Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove and Senator John Moorlach deserve a lot of credit for their efforts to enact AB 5 relief. We will not give up.”
SB 806 sought to allow any industry, profession, or business that had legally utilized independent contractor relationships prior to the Dynamex court decision and subsequent AB 5 legislation to continue to do so. SB 990 went even further, calling for an outright suspension of AB 5 until January 1, 2022.
AB 5, written by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, has completely ravaged what was once a thriving gig economy in California. It strips employers of their right to hire independent contractors, and strips the right of individuals to work on their own terms.
Unemployment levels have reached the highest levels since the Great Depression, with millions of people struggling to pay rent and put food on the table. The last thing we need to be doing is destroying quality jobs with unnecessary and unconstitutional legislation.