Republican lawmakers in California on Jan. 23 announced efforts to fight federal and state legislation that restricts the classification of workers as independent contractors.
California state Rep. Kate Sanchez introduced AB 1928 in the California legislature on Jan. 25; the bill would rescind the “ABC test” to determine independent contractor misclassification introduced by California’s AB 5, which was approved in 2019.
“There are few things more American than starting your own business and working for yourself,” Sanchez said in a press release. “It’s a big part of the American dream. For too many Californians, that dream was ripped away by AB 5. That’s why I’m introducing legislation to fully repeal AB 5 and help restore the tens of thousands of jobs that law needlessly destroyed.”
In addition, Rep. Kevin Kiley, R-California, will challenge the US Department of Labor’s new rule for independent contractor classification. Kiley plans to introduce legislation to nullify the regulation. The DOL announced the new rule on Jan. 9, and concerns were raised by the US Chamber of Commerce and others.
“Nationalizing California’s AB 5 would cost millions of Americans their livelihoods,” Kiley said in a press release. “I am urging my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support my legislation to overturn the Department of Labor’s new rule and protect the right to earn a living and the American Dream.”
The Sacramento Bee newspaper reported that such legislation faces long odds of passing.
A separate report recently released said that AB 5 lowered employment in California. However, California voters approved Proposition 22 in 2020 that allows gig economy companies to continue classifying drivers as independent contractors. And other battles continue over AB 5. Meanwhile, the Economic Policy Institute said AB 5 was an important step for workers citing protections and benefits for employees not available to contractors.
SIA has reached out to a Democratic representative for comment.