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New Law for Contract Workers in California

California has recently passed a new law that is set to impact contract workers within the state. The law, known as AB5, is intended to provide greater labor protections for gig workers and other contract employees who have traditionally lacked benefits and job security. While the law has generated controversy and concerns from some industries, it represents an important step forward in recognizing the rights and contributions of contract workers in California.

AB5, which was signed into law in September 2019, codifies the “ABC test” for determining whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. This test evaluates whether a worker is free from control and direction in their work, performs work outside of the usual course of the hiring entity`s business, and is customarily engaged in an independent trade or occupation. Under the ABC test, workers who do not meet these criteria must be classified as employees and receive benefits and protections consistent with California law.

The impact of AB5 on contract workers will be significant, particularly in industries that have relied heavily on independent contractors, such as ride-hailing, delivery, and gig economy platforms. These companies have long classified their workers as independent contractors, enabling them to avoid providing benefits like health insurance, unemployment insurance, and workers` compensation. AB5 will require these companies to reclassify many of their workers as employees, providing them with greater financial security and benefits.

Not everyone is happy with the new law, however. Some industries, such as freelance writers, photographers, and musicians, have expressed concern that their ability to work as independent contractors will be hampered by AB5. The law includes a number of exemptions for certain professions and industries, but some freelancers worry that the exemptions may not go far enough. The impact of AB5 on these workers remains to be seen, but it is clear that the law represents a significant shift in how contract workers are treated in California.

Overall, AB5 is a positive step forward for contract workers in California. By providing greater protections and benefits, the law recognizes the important contributions of gig workers and other independent contractors to the state`s economy. While there are concerns and challenges associated with the new law, it represents a much-needed change in how these workers are treated and compensated. As California moves forward with AB5, it will be important to monitor its impact on workers and industries alike, and to ensure that all parties are treated fairly and equitably.