Sen. Morrell Voices Frustration in Labor Committee Passing AB 5 Regarding Independent Contractors

By on July 21, 2019

Republican Senator Mike Morrell (R-23rd District-Rancho Cucamonga) expressed his disappointment recently following the state Senate’s Labor, Public Employment and Retirement Committee passing Assembly Bill 5 which seeks to codify a workforce decision that was handed down by the California Supreme Court in 2018. Sen. Morrell is the vice chair of the Labor Committee and voted against AB 5 but was the lone vote in the 4 to 1 partisan vote.

Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove (R-16th District-Bakersfield) introduced Senate Bill 238 which would have kept California’s workforce supportive of independent contractors. Co-authored by all Senate Republicans, SB 238 also received support from numerous business organizations, but Senate Democrats killed the bill in the Senate Labor Committee in April.

Sen. Morrell declared that SB 238 would have assisted all independent contractors, not just specific industries.

“In making laws, we should do so with a mindset of opportunity for all and favoritism toward none. Whereas SB 238 would have treated every industry equally, AB 5 chooses winners and losers and is an egregious example of crony capitalism.”

The California Supreme Court ruled last year on the Dynamex Decision and created a new test to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor.  Republicans and many independent contractors contend that the new test does not account for the diverse workforce in California and decision by the state court will take away the flexibility that many workers currently enjoy as independent contractors.

“Single mothers and student Uber drivers will be greatly affected once the Dynamex Decision is codified into law, said Sen. Grove. “My legislation, SB 238, is a common-sense solution that would have helped the two million independent contractors who call California home. Unfortunately, partisan politics intervened which leaves the livelihood of millions at risk.”

Sen Morrell spoke further on the legislation approved by the Senate Labor Committee saying, “I do not fault those who pursued and got carve-outs in AB 5. They had little choice but to look out for their own. The process, however, is a telling commentary on both the terrible ruling in Dynamex and the misguided approach legislative Democrats have taken to the issue. We cannot lose sight that we are not just talking about jobs, but livelihoods. This will be another serious blow to our economy.”