California lawmakers passed Assembly Bill 5 (AB5). It’s a sweeping law that will severely impact gig workers in the state working as independent contractors. When Governor Gavin Newsom signs the bill into law, Uber and Lyft drivers will be employees.
This will turn out to be a giant bucket of suck for a whole bunch of people. A lot of them probably don’t even realize it yet.
When Uber and Lyft drivers become employees, they will have all sorts of the negative effects of being an employee foisted upon them.
Who wants to be an employee?
It will mean:
- Assigned work schedules.
- Losing the ability to turn down ride requests.
- Not being able to drive for both Uber and Lyft at the same time.
- Losing the ability to file taxes as a self-employed business owner and losing all the perks that come with that.
Supporters of AB5 have publicized the plight of the poor rideshare driver who has to work 12 hours a day, seven days a week just to feed his family of six. When AB5 goes into effect, that driver will no longer have to worry about driving so much. No, he and every other driver will unquestionably have their hours capped at below whatever is considered fulltime employment in California. That way Uber and Lyft will not have to offer benefits.
AB5 is a gift to organized labor
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) introduced AB5. Labor unions probably wrote the bill. They are the ones who stand to benefit the most from this law. Once it goes into effect and drivers realize how terrible it is, the labor unions can creep in and make all sorts of promises to drivers.
Once drivers are unionized and their union cuts a deal with Uber and Lyft, drivers will be lucky if they earn what they were earning before this stupid law went into effect. Less when you factor in their union dues. The money is just not there. Both Uber and Lyft are hemorrhaging money. It’s rather difficult for workers to share in the profits when there are no profits.
Although I live in Maryland, I was born and raised in California. I still have great love in my heart of California. It makes me sad to see my former home state do stupid things. Then again, I’m pretty much used to it by now.