On Thursday, Assemblyman Kevin Kiley continues his efforts to get Governor Gavin Newsom to suspend Assembly Bill 5.
Assembly Bill 5 aimed to provided clarity for businesses, workers and taxpayers in the wake of the Dynamex ruling by the California Supreme Court in 2018. It was signed by Governor Newsom in Sept. 2019.
The author of the bill, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), says the bill will restore employment status for millions of workers who have been misclassified as contractors.
By applying a strict test to determine who is an independent contractor and making employment status a default under the law, working Californians who have been kept off payroll as employees will gain access to basic labor rights for the first time, including rights to minimum wage, overtime, unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, paid sick days, paid family leave, workplace protections against harassment and retaliation, and the right to form or join a union. Some of the many workers who will benefit include janitorial workers, construction workers, port truck drivers, home health aides, hotel and hospitality workers, delivery and ride-hail drivers.
In February, Kiley said that the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office has estimated that AB 5 affects 1 million Californians. For a sampling of these effects, see the book of AB Stories compiled by Assemblyman Kiley in January. On January 28, a Rally to Repeal AB 5 drew to the State Capitol between 300 and 350 people, as estimated by independent press reports.
Over 150 Ph.D. Economists and Political Scientists Call for Governor to Suspend AB 5
SACRAMENTO – As Governor Gavin Newsom tweeted that “SCIENCE — not politics — must be California’s guide” in its economic recovery, over 150 California economists and professors sent the Governor an open letter calling on him to suspend AB 5.
Using their training in economic and political science, these experts, including Nobel Laureate Vernon Smith, concluded AB 5 is causing “substantial, and avoidable, harm to the very people who now have the fewest resources and the worst alternatives available to them.” The letter explains:
Employment decisions hinge on the costs of distributing risk. While employers are not hiring, gig workers could shoulder myriad tasks that are needed to flatten out the effects of the temporary emergency. It doesn’t really matter how great the pay is, how predictable are the hours, nor how generous the benefits may be, if the law prevents a job from existing in the first place…Blocking work that is needed and impoverishing workers laid-off from other jobs are not the intentions of AB-5, but the law is having these unintended consequences and needs to be suspended.
Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin) has introduced legislation to suspend AB 5 and has urged the Governor to use his emergency powers to do so.
“If Governor Newsom believes in putting science before politics, he should listen to our state’s leading economists rather than special interests and political allies,” Kiley said. “Keeping AB 5 in place while Californians remain at home defies expert opinion, common sense, and basic decency.”
Assemblyman Kevin Kiley represents the 6th Assembly District, which includes the Sacramento, Placer, and El Dorado County communities of Cameron Park, El Dorado Hills, Fair Oaks, Folsom, Granite Bay, Lincoln, Loomis, Orangevale, Penryn, Rocklin, Roseville, and Sheridan.