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In California, Protecting Workers Means Outlawing Their Jobs

In California, Protecting Workers Means Outlawing Their Jobs


As a freelancer I have the flexibility to do work while I’m at school, or do you work late at night, or you know not work that week because I’m busy. Cassie Dylan is getting a master’s in public policy at Pepperdine University, and works as a freelance journalist to help support herself through school. I live in LA, it’s not cheap. And so freelancing gives me an opportunity to have income on the side and pay for graduate school and you know, not how to take out student loans Now I might be forced to take out student loans because now I can’t do my freelancing. Since January Dylan has been finding it much more difficult to make ends meet because of a new California law that limits the extent to which companies can use contract labor. California Assembly Bill Five was designed to constrain the growth of the so called gig economy based on the theory that companies like Uber, Lyft, and Postmates are taking advantage of contract labor. The bill was authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, a former union leader who declined Reasons interview request. It was passed last September with strong support from organized labor. They’re politicians, they’re union workers, they’re people who don’t get it. They’re activists. And so when you’re in journalism you really have to prove yourself before you can join an outlet, it’s very very competitive. There’s a lot of people doing it. They’re cutting people off from opportunity, and what this is going to do is it’s just gonna reach these outlets not hiring people from California. This is a really unusual position for people in creative fields like freelance journalism to be in. By nature most of us are liberal, progressive democrats, and we’re also pro union for the most part, and here we are saying this goes too far. Randy Dotinga is a San Diego based freelance journalist, and the former president of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Unlike Cassie Dylan who is a conservative, Dotinga leans more to the left. This is too pro-labor and it neglects us
as workers and as people who work independently as people who may not need
protections of employments Doh Tinga was part of a group that lobbied
Assemblywoman Gonzalez to exempt journalists from the law instead she
allotted them a max of 35 submissions a year per client was it a little
arbitrary Gonzalez told The Hollywood Reporter regarding how she came up with
that number yeah writing bills with numbers like that are a little bit
arbitrary there are a lot of people that write more than 35 submissions a year
per clients they might write a blog post in 20 minutes they might write dozens of
blog posts every month or every year and a lot of publications don’t have the
resources that put someone like that on staff so they’re either gonna be limited
in what they can write or they’re just gonna be let go
Vox which held the new law is a victory for workers everywhere announced in
December that it will be ending contracts with more than 200 freelancers
who lived in or covered California those 200 freelance contracts will be replaced
with 20 part-time or full-time staff positions we’ve heard from many
freelance journalists who are talking about leaving the state people have been
in complete panic about this law the American Society of journalists and
authors has filed the lawsuit on the grounds that the bill is
unconstitutional whether or not the group prevails venadu ball a law
professor at University of California Hastings says that many writers are
already technically exempt in addition to this 35 article limit that is
contained within 85 there is a broader carve out in the law so workers who make
twice minimum wage and who are engaged in creative work are also exempt from
wage orders but that exemption perhaps can be made more clear the text of a B 5
doesn’t mention this exemption which comes from California’s Labor Code and
how it would apply to creative professionals like journalists in the
context of this new law is largely unclear and up to interpretation do ball
concedes that media companies wary of legal challenges are unlikely to take
advantage of this carve out because they are so worried about lawsuits and
because they have such little money in the bank at this point a lot of of the
attorneys that work for these companies are saying well we’re just not gonna
take any risks the law doesn’t apply to all contract employees dozens of
professions are fully exempted including many healthcare jobs commercial
fishermen grant writers hair stylists fine artists and more so I apply the
bill to any industry in the lead-up to its passage most lip service was paid to
the plight of uber and lyft drivers what drivers tell me is that they don’t
actually have flexibility they have to work during a particular period of time
otherwise they’re not making any money they claim that workers have flexibility
but when they’re paying workers very little wages you’re looking at workers
working driving 14 16 hours a day there’s no flexibility in that if you
have such little bargaining power with with the folks that you’re consulting
with or you’re freelancing for then it’s exploitative and so in this particular
context in the gig economy context it is exploited of in November of 2019 a
coalition of drivers protested at the home of uber co-founder Garrett camp because we categorize as independent
contractors we don’t have a lot of the protections that comes of having
employee status hopefully now when the New Year rolls in we’re able to see some
of those protections but the average Californian lyft driver is part time
with the average contractor spending about three hours a week on the app and
according to a 2019 study commissioned by lyft the company will likely have to
end its arrangements with around 250,000 drivers in the part-timers who make up
the majority would be the first to go according to that same study 95% of
Californian drivers say that the jobs flexibility is extremely or very
important to them and yet quarrel its cally a spokesperson for mobile workers
Alliance which is trying to unionize the industry says that workers would be
better off if uber and lyft were forced to rely primarily on full-time workers
earning higher salaries for us is about focusing on ensuring that jobs hat are
good jobs right if we have one or a hundred jobs that are paying less than
minimum wage there is absolutely no benefit we’re at I rather have you know
50 good jobs than a hundred bad paying jobs and those 50 good jobs are actually
a living wage according to data from up work a site that pairs businesses with
freelancers and the Federal Reserve about 20% of the American labor force
freelanced on a part-time basis in 2019 if a law like this went national
many of these roughly 35 million people would need to look for other
arrangements I hope that there’s some way that the labor movement can look at
planters of all types and saying this is a valid honorable profession that we are
workers too many of us choose this field we are not exploited
we’re not scabs we’re small businesses and we deserve to be treated that way

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. Isn’t Uber and Lyft and all the food delivery jobs supposed to be a supplement? Not full time? By their logic, if a 10yr old wants to shovel the snow off of my driveway, I need to give that little shit $15+ per hour?

  2. $ 5us for a blog post if you are really really lucky*35……. $175 bucks…

    but it's great cos it cuts down on all the trashy left wing reporters….

  3. Live in Los Angeles, am Freelance musician, can confirm entire thing. This takeover of reds has brought this state to the brink.

  4. Why do people stay or want to live in CA, they just make it as difficult as possible to live, be successful, and exercise your rights.

  5. Why would you work a job that pays so little? If people don't work low paying jobs the companies will be forced to offer more to get people to work for them.

  6. California is the land of fruits and nuts. Sidewalk toilets intravenous shooting galleries rampant crime. Let's admit it folks this is liberal utopia.

  7. Perhaps democrats are simply people that don’t see a connection between their money and government spending. When something like this comes along that affects them personally they fight it tooth and nail, naturally. Let’s spell it out: the government spends your money, and they do it with the fervor of a crooked accountant. Stop allowing them to do so. Even if you think you don’t pay taxes, you still pay taxes. That is your money.

  8. Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher is responsible for this abomination. Oh her Facebook page, single women were fawning over her for providing free bus tickets to kids. You know, if LGF and the other liberal dolts hadn't added over a $ to a gallon of gas, people would be able to drive their kids, and maybe even take them out for a happy meal. Instead, the liberals march ever on to social equality which means the best of us can only reach the level of the worst of us. Thank you LGF for being stupid.

  9. I work through Taskrabbit, another gig economy Tech company. Are we sometimes exploited, and often treated as employees when it benefits them but called 'independent contractors' when it doesn't? Sure. But I still chose to work for them, because the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. If it didn't, I would stop working for them! I'd rather have the option of employment than the government tell me I can't..

    Fortunately I don't live in CA, but thousands of people have lost their ability to work from these misguided politicians. They should be ashamed of themselves. So should the unions. They're helping their union members who are already doing quite well, and trying to take away honest jobs from folks who need them. Remember when unions used to be the good guys?

  10. The journalists trying to make an exception for themselves should be ashamed of themselves. They'd probably be promoting this as helping workers as long as it doesn't apply to them..

  11. Just to add a little information here, although freelance writers are a big victim of this bill, there are hundreds of other fields that are affected as well, everyone from truckers to interpreters to musicians. Many people are losing their livelihoods. Horrible law. And the federal version, the PRO Act, has already passed the House.

  12. When will you guys go wake, Democrats are lying in your face and you're so dumb to recognize it until it's too late.

  13. This bills impact on soooooo many other industries and ultimate raising of cost of basic services like Nail and Hair salons, truck drivers, freelance handy/repair workers, etc. In California where cost of living is already putting strain on many individuals and families .

  14. No one is talking about California's lack of creating jobs and the states motive to create income tax revenue for the state by taxing the citizens of CA who are working a second or 3rd job in the gig economy. They care about people. It's all about the bottom line which CA desperately needs to support many other dysfunctional, and burdensome policies.

  15. In California the only good paying job is being an illegal criminal from another country who can love for free with gifts from the democraps. Gifts everyone else pays for through stolen tax dollars

  16. Ignore this propaganda. The bill was designed to stop businesses from using contract labor with no guarantees and get them to actually hire employees. Freelance work is short sighted and overall less reliable than traditional jobs.

  17. Fed Ex does the same thing been sued multiple times. They payoff republicans to keep contractsers and get out of health Benefits and paying labor taxes such as unemployment insurance.

  18. The DemoDogs have been chasing their tails for a long time. It appears they finally caught that tail and are now starting to eat it. Sorry if your the tail.

  19. This is not a surprise as it comes from The Socialist Republic of Kalifornia where they never look for the unintended consequences of what they think is a good idea.

  20. I love the fat libtard there, "…this bill goes too far…" Of course, it goes too far, comrade, it's not about people, it's about control.

  21. Liberals cry big tears when their own policies hit them personally. Otherwise these policies are great when they hit others. Childish.

  22. This is why independent trade unions should exist in big retail, big manufacturing, big construction, and big trucking companies but not for literally all companies and not for all professions.

  23. F##k Unions and the lazy fools who support them. If a person works for uber or anyone else as a contractor. And does not know how to make a profit. They need to do something else. And I'm a second generation truck driver.
    California laws suck. Ask any trucker.

  24. I heard about this wonderful law that helps to protects journalists so they’re treated fairly. I’m being facetious of course.

  25. Gonzales….why am I not surprised? Oh no! More Californians coming to wreck the rest of the country! The Labor Movement is pure communism.

  26. I think a lot of people are missing the big picture here. Most Illegal immigrants are paid under the table as an independent contractor so that employers don't have to withhold income tax and to show the IRS that they are hiring illegals. It's one of the most common practices used by companies to hide their illegal hiring pratices.

  27. They're creating a situation where they can make it look like the illegal immigrants are needed in order to keep the state running and be productive or livable because most Californians will move out if this doesn't change

  28. The left remind me of the main protagonist of "repo men". They work for an exploitative system that ends up exploiting even them.

  29. Good, maybe you stupid add people will quit voting for democrats.open your eyes and quit living in a fantasy world where the democrats cares about people and not fuck over Americans.

  30. That's a hell of a problem.

    I always thought ride sharing companies were for extra money not providing a living wage. Rather a flexible part time job.

    This is in the same vein as 15$ an hour fast food workers…

    What was once a job for kids and the retirees is now thought of as a career option or something(?) for regular everyday people.

    That blows my mind.

  31. CA rulers want everyone forced to be in a union in order to work in that state because the unions launder otherwise illegal bribes to politicians.
    CA Rulers hate it when workers make choices they disapprove of.
    UBER/ Lyft so not supply the cars or the insurance. All expenses arw paid by the drivers. They are contractors. The software merely connects drivers with customers and UL take a cut off the top. Seems fair since without the software, drivers would have to find customers another way.

  32. OMG ! Do you not understand that the ONLY thing on a Union member's mind is the HOLY PENSION ?! THAT …. and NOTHING ELSE ! Whether it's Unions that extort private companies or Unions that extort taxpayers through government institutions, the ALMIGHTY HOLY PENSION is their Living God ! If you are not contributing to their collective pension …. then you are the enemy ! THAT is the one …. and only …. reason for this criminal act !

  33. Ironically the media supported this bill, now it’s biting some of them in the ass. Way to shoot yourselves in the foot.

  34. I guess you take your own medicine!!, you vote them in office!!, your labor unions!, you pay their salary (you dues), to them!!, then they backstab YOU!!!, I guess?, you get what you pay for!!!

  35. Scumbag leftist journalists. They thought the law was good but they wanted an exception for themselves. They should have to lie in the bed they made.

  36. These liberal journalists got exactly what they asked for. They never spoke up when this bill was going through the CA legislature. Their colleagues at Vox and Gizmodo Media Group cheered on this bill as a way to stick it to Uber and Lyft. Their colleagues demonized anyone who questioned this law.

    Now live with the consequences.

  37. Whaa my stupid leftists ideas are hurting my stupid leftist self now! Whaa whaa ! Maybe try not controlling every aspect of someone else’s life from now on.

  38. If you're all so pro union, you should be HAPPY about this law. YOU wanted the law to over-reach, now it's over-reaching and you're crying. Live with it.

  39. Lol. Idiots. You scream for unions and their political power and when they cancel you and your freedom you BEG for them to have mercy. Fools.

  40. Poor LIBTARDS are TOOO STUPID to understand that "YOU GET WHAT YOU VOTE FOR" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Then they cry because they can't continue their GIG jobs !!!!!!! Such a bunch of MORONS !!!!!!!!!

  41. So where are the leftist going to? To Free America States. And once in free america states . They will infect these states with the same virus taking other people freedoms. Look at TEXAS , Austin Dallas. Losing their Gun Rights by the day because of Californians moving there because Cali got tooo oppressive.Only to start infecting this state.

  42. These people will find other jobs. While I definitely like this report and I like seeing different sides of things, I, for the most part, also agree with what the woman said about "I prefer 20 well paid jobs than 200 very badly paid jobs" or whatever she said. Sure students or whatever may have issues with finding certain small jobs, but how many people are students who are already on a path to a greater job? Many of the people who work for Uber are not on a path to a better job, they're stuck. This report is somewhat biased on who they chose to interview. A Masters student isn't what I would call a representative sample. Besides she will actually be able to pay off any loan she gets unless there's some sort of market crash, because she's actually getting a degree. Many people who work for part time jobs will not be on this path, but rather they need Uber to survive because they cannot secure a loan for education, who knows the reason, there's myriad reasons. Any time there's a shift in the economy jobs will be lost. Why vote for Trump if he's trying to preserve jobs in the US if that would be "socialist" and cause people to lose their jobs? This also happened with Harley Davidson and General Motors when trump promised they wouldn't leave, but they are, slowly but surely. The reason this report is biased is because only the losing side is showcased. While it definitely is important to show this side, it's not the only side that should be shown. I am a student myself and there's plenty of ways to make money should I need to, Mcdonalds still exists, and that pays full time wage too. I would also like to ask that what led to a situation where removing this disadvantage became worse than letting it stay put? Also they're talking mostly about LA, a city which is already special on its own, in other words, not a representative sample. It's weird because often in other situations where people showcase a problem in LA people say that it isn't representative of the rest of the US, which is true, so why is everyone hollering here? Even if this woman wouldn't lose/ have lost her job to this policy, another person would've in order for companies to cut corners, or Uber would diminish its wages again. People don't realise the power that Uber has since it's such a big employer, as do many retail stores. We're already in a race towards the bottom, and we'll see whether this policy is a net detriment or not.

  43. In California you don't breathe air air breathes you. I literally do not have sympathy for them they shot themselves in the foot then want you to give them money empathy and listen to their speeches about how amazing they think they are.

  44. Time to vote better. Even those who are very left, like Uber for its flexibility. But CA is full of politicians who will hurt even those that vote for them. That is why we need to start voting better.

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