Senate committee opposes Republican reforms to AB5

By on May 18, 2020

Senate Republicans have introduced a package of bills in an effort to fix or repeal Assembly Bill 5, which restricts the ability of Californians to work as independent contractors and freelancers.

Senate Republicans two proposals were heard this week to save independent contracting in the Senate Committee on Labor, Public Employment and Retirement; SB 806, authored by Shannon Grove (Bakersfield) which would have repealed and replaced AB 5 with a new legal test for determining worker classification and SB 990, by Senator John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) which would have immediately placed on hold the implementation of AB 5 until 2022.

Both bills were heard Thursday and both bills were voted down by committee Democrats. The lone  AYE vote came from Republican Sen. Mike Morrell.

Senator Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga), vice chair of the Senate Committee on Labor, Public Employment and Retirement, made the following statement:

“AB 5 disrupted the lives of thousands, if not millions, of Californians who, for decades, have been able to determine how and when they work. Rather than treat every industry the same, Democrats made exemptions for some, picking winners and losers and throwing out the concept of ‘opportunity for all and favoritism toward none.’ Affected professions include occupational therapists, interpreters, ride-share drivers, and others – even Santas got the boot from shopping malls.

“My colleagues had a chance to correct course by providing Californians immediate relief from AB 5, treating all industries the same. Instead, they doubled down on this misguided law and the governor included $22 million in his budget to enforce AB 5 despite a projected $54-billion deficit. AB 5 has caused irreparable harm for many, whose situations have only been made worse by the financial uncertainty brought about by the pandemic.”