Regulations

Gig-Work Bill Would Classify TNC Drivers As Employees

Staff/News Reports
Posted on July 11, 2019
The sponsor of AB5, California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher, D-80th District, chair of the Assembly Appropriations Committee, held a Q&A with GCLA members on Feb. 13, 2019 during the group's annual legislative lobbying day at the State Capitol in Sacramento. (Photo: Martin Romjue/LCT)

The sponsor of AB5, California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher, D-80th District, chair of the Assembly Appropriations Committee, held a Q&A with GCLA members on Feb. 13, 2019 during the group's annual legislative lobbying day at the State Capitol in Sacramento. (Photo: Martin Romjue/LCT)

[Updated 4 p.m. PT]

SACRAMENTO, Calif. --- A proposed Assembly bill (AB5) supported by the Greater California Livery Association (GCLA) that would reclassify transportation network company (TNCs) drivers as employees cleared a Senate committee July 10, offering renewed hope for California luxury transportation operators looking for fair and equal regulations.

Bill Moves Forward: The state Senate’s Labor, Public Employment and Retirement Committee passed California’s groundbreaking gig-work bill, 4-1. The contentious proposal, AB5, took center stage in Sacramento this week, with hundreds of supporters and opponents rallying and testifying as the Senate committee weighed potentially turning hundreds of thousands of independent contractors in the state — such as Uber and Lyft drivers — into employees. San Francisco Chronicle article here

GCLA Reaction: For the GCLA, the committee passage marks another encouraging step toward putting TNCs and charter party transportation carriers, such as limousine companies, on the same regulatory and labor wage level, in practice.

“Obviously, we’re one of the supporters of this bill and it affects our entire industry," said Mark Stewart, a GCLA board director and legislative co-chairman. "This is one major piece of legislation that if it moves forward and gets signed off on, could really impact our industry for the better.”

Stewart conferenced on July 11 with legislative co-chairman David Kinney and GCLA lobbyist Gregg Cook to track the future path of AB5. Stewart will meet with the bill's sponsor, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-80th District, on Aug. 1 at her San Diego district office to ask questions and look at options on how the bill will progress. AB5 is next scheduled to be heard by the Senate Appropriations Committee on Aug. 12.

If Gov. Gavin Newsom ultimately signs AB5 into law, it could also lead to TNCs having to comply with federal and state rules about benefits, health insurance, workmen's comp, and other mandates related to employee status, Stewart said.

"Right now everyone is focused on the wages, but if the TNC drivers truly became employees, that puts evermore pressure on rideshare companies to operate like brick and mortar businesses like everybody else," Stewart told LCT.

Update From Bill Sponsor: Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-80th District

Fallout for Free-lancers and Strippers? Assembly Bill 5 threatens the likes of Uber, Lyft, Postmates and DoorDash. But it could also sweep up some two million workers from truck drivers and general contractors to strippers and nail salons. CalMatters article here

Related LCT background article here: GCLA Lobbies For AB5 At Annual Legislative Event

Related Topics: California operators, driver pay, employee vs independent contractor, employee wages, Greater California Livery Association, independent contractor issues, industry politics, labor laws, legislation, lobbying, Lyft, TNCs, Uber

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