Written by Julianne Foster
State Senator Brian Jones of the 38th Senate District releases a series of videos called “Are You Kidding Me?” (AYKM), which typically question recent government actions and decisions that aren’t in favor of Californians.
His latest video was released on June 25 and discusses Assembly Bill 5, a law passed last year by “socialist liberals in the California Legislature to force independent contractors into becoming employees whether they like it or not.”
Several industries, such as driving, freelancing, music, art, manufacturing, construction, event planning, etc. have been fighting AB 5 in the courts and elsewhere. So far, truckers have been granted exemption from this law, while other companies in the driving industry, such as Uber, Lyft, and Doordash are still awaiting their outcome since they have qualified for an initiative for the November ballot.
“Hard-working Californians should be making these decisions, not politicians living in an ivory tower or who have never had a real job or business,” Senator Jones added.
Jones is concerned with the politicians continuing to go against the true needs of hard-working citizens. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and city attorneys of Los Angeles and San Francisco have filed lawsuits against Uber and Lyft to force drivers to become employees. For drivers, being an independent contractor allows them a lot of benefits including control of their schedule, hours, and what trips they take.
Many Californians have been working to repeal AB 5 as it threatens their livelihoods. The fluidity and control they have over their job as independent contractors allow many struggling workers to enter into these fields to provide more income for their families while still accessing education or having other jobs.
Isaiah Etuk-Navajo is a student and app-based delivery driver for Instacart and Postmates who adamantly prefers the flexibility of independent contracting. In an interview, he described his work hours which fluctuate around his school schedule. “I need this kind of independent work and control over my schedule so I can pay my bills, pay my tuition, and stay focused in school.”
This threat to food delivery services puts many people at risk, especially those that need income more than ever as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The problems this select industry is facing are only a small part of the issues caused by AB 5, which needs to be repealed to protect the jobs and rights of hard-working Californians.
You can watch State Senator Brian Jones’ entire video regarding the disastrous AB 5 below: