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A Landmark Labor Law Is Going Into Effect In CA -- But Most People Are Still Confused About AB-5

Governor Gavin Newsom signing AB 5 into law on September 18, 2019.
Governor Gavin Newsom signing AB 5 into law on September 18, 2019.
Courtesy of Lorena Gonzalez

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The controversy around Assembly Bill 5 continues to swirl, but the law becomes a reality on Jan. 1. California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the bill into law back in September. It rewrites the state’s employment law, changing what it means to be an independent contractor and impacting gig workers and several industries.

Many companies using independent contractors or freelancers will be required to reclassify those workers as employees. Those in favor of the law say it will increase worker protections and lead to fair wages. Uber and Lyft, which have argued the law will lead to price hikes and a decrease in flexibility for drivers, are part of a more than $100 million ballot initiative that would exempt the companies from AB-5. The law reaches well beyond the ridesharing industry from therapists and truck drivers to freelance journalists and entertainers. According to the Los Angeles Times, Vox Media moved to end contracts with hundreds of freelance writers in order to comply with AB-5.Many say they’re still confused about how the new law will impact them. 

Today on AirTalk, we take a look back at how AB-5 came to fruition and what the impact is moving forward. Are you confused by AB-5? Do you have questions about the law? Join the conversation by calling 866-893-5722.

With guest host Kyle Stokes


Carolyn Said, San Francisco Chronicle reporter covering business, tech and the on-demand economy; she tweets @CSaid

Angela Reddock-Wright,  an employment attorney, investigator and mediator. She is Managing Attorney of Los Angeles-based Reddock Law Group