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A Word About AB 5 (CA’s Pending Independent Contractor Law)

by D. Gregory Valenza | | September 12, 2019

If you’ve been a lawyer for a while, or you know a lawyer, or you watch the news, you know that the non-legal press as a general proposition is terrible at covering legal developments.  Sorry, but that’s just the truth.  And as Exhibit 12 gazillion for that proposition, I direct you to the coverage of AB 5 (here), which is the new law California is set to enact regarding independent contractor relationships.  I have read it “re-writes employment law” and that it “eliminates independent contractors” and other things which are just not true.  Yes, if the bill is signed as it is currently written, it’s going to be horrible for some employers. It’s going to be bad for some people who like being independent contractors.  Some businesses and job types are just plain out of luck on independent contractors. But it’s going to be OK for others. It may even help some industries and businesses.  For sure, the new bill, like it or hate it, is going to be a lot more clear than the California Supreme Court’s decision in Dynamex, which started this whole mess.  That’s why courts are not supposed to write the law. They’re supposed to interpret the law. Again, sorry, but that’s just the way things are, all due respect to the Court.  

Anyway, I’ll be breaking down AB 5 soon, once Governor Newsom signs it. He may send it back for more revisions. It may take more than one post to analyze this puppy, because the law actually contains a number of different exceptions to the proposition that “everyone’s an employee.”  Again, the bill allows for independent contractor relationships in certain industries. But the requirements differ.  The bill as it stands now is linked above. So, if you can’t wait for Greggie’s wisdom, you can give it a read now.  Have at it.  

But don’t believe all the breathless press you’re reading / hearing / watching on TV, because it’s not always going to be accurate. Wait for the employment lawyers you trust, or me, or any combination, to analyze the law and give some informed perspective….

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