California’s new gig workers law, explainedOn December 27, 2019 by Raul Dinwiddie
Freelancers, independent contractors, gig
workers: there’s a new California law that may change how you get paid and make you eligible
for some benefits like sick leave. Next year, about 1 million workers will go
from receiving 1099 tax forms to W-2s. Will you be one of them?
Hi, I’m Judy Lin and I’m the economy reporter for CalMatters. I’m explaining a new law
that makes it harder for companies to classify workers as independent contractors.
It started with a landmark California Supreme Court decision, which created a test for classifying
workers. Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez from San Diego
wrote a law codifying the court’s decision. That means a lot of people who work as contractors
will turn into employees. They’ll be entitled to all the benefits and protections of a typical
employee, including overtime, paid leave and the right to join unions. Now: workers and companies are scrambling
to sort out how the law impacts them. Here’s what we know
Doctors, lawyers and real estate agents can remain independent contractors. So can travel
agents, graphic designers and hair stylists and barbers.
But a lot of industries will have switch. Truck drivers and gig workers? They’ll be
considered employees. You may be confused by some of the things
you hear. That’s because companies like Uber, Lyft and DoorDash are challenging the
changes in court and at the ballot box. Unions may try expanding the law. And companies? They are asking voters to overturn
the court’s decision in the November election. Unsure whether you will be affected? Try checking
with your company’s administrator. Learn more about who’s in and who’s out
of the new worker classification law on our website.
For CalMatters, this is Judy Lin.