US: California bill ups pressure on gig economy firms


California’s State Senate has passed a bill putting more pressure on “gig economy” companies such as Uber and Lyft to classify their independent contractors as employees. 

Sponsored by California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez and supported by Governor Gavin Newsom, the bill passed late Tuesday with 29 votes in favor and 11 against.

In a statement, the California Labor Federation said the “legislature solidified our state’s position as the national leader on workplace rights, setting the standard for the rest of the country to follow.”

Companies with contractor-dependent business models have been lobbying against the bill and vowed to fight back after the bill passed last night.

The bill has been in the works ever since a 2018 California Supreme Court ruling said workers are a company’s employees under state wage laws when the company exercises control over their work, or they are integral to its business.

Democratic presidential frontrunners have supported the measure, including Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and Kamala Harris of California, all U.S. senators.

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