California’s Controversial Gig Economy Bill

Presidential candidates are slowly starting to talk about the gig economy. Not in the vague way they express disdain for a business model that exploits workers. No, they’re starting to take sides, weighing in on one of the most consequential legislative battles taking place in the country: the fight over California bill AB 5.

The sweeping bill, backed by labor unions, would make it much harder for companies to classify employees as independent contractors, a common practice that has allowed businesses to skirt state and federal labor laws. The law would essentially rewrite the rules of the gig economy, and businesses of all kinds are panicking. lt’s why Uber, Lyft, Instacart, Postmates, and other well-known gig companies have launched aggressive lobbying and public relations campaigns to defeat the bill.

The bill passed the state Assembly earlier this summer and is now held up in the Senate as business groups beg for exceptions and compromises. In the past few weeks, 2020 contenders have stepped into the fray. …

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