California Bill aimed at Ride Hailing Herald offers the Change Business Company

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A specific California employment bill could have implications for Wednesday for independent companies and contractors in areas far beyond technology and tourism.

The legislation, which aims to reclassify employers as part of contract workers, poses a threat to companies' business models.

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rely on gig workers as drivers. But it may change the work in occupations including construction, trucking, adult entertainment and more.

“It will give many employers a break,” she says

Veena Dubal,

legal associate professor at the University of California, Hastings, who adds that the bill creates a “presumption of employee status.”

Employers who wish to treat a person as a contractor will need to prove that the person is free from the control and direction of the company, that the work is outside the normal business of the organization and that the contractor works independently in the type of work being carried out. . By employing a person as an employee instead of a contract worker, companies would be subject to payroll taxes, minimum wage laws, workers compensation claims and unemployment insurance.

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The legislation explores many professions, including physicians, solicitors, architects, insurance vendors, accountants and real estate agents, among others. But in areas that rely heavily on independent contractors, such as language interpretation, there are still many questions.

Karim Bayumi, a 40-year-old man who drives five or six days a week for Uber and Lyft around Los Angeles, asked that the legislation be encouraged. “We recycle for a long time,” he says. “We are treated as employees but we do not get the benefits or safeguards that come with it.”

Mr Bayumi, who is the organizing committee for Rideshare United Drivers, says a group who want to unite Lyft and Uber drivers, recently suffered a hernia and will need surgery, preventing him from driving. . As an employee, he would be entitled to benefits such as workers' compensation and other defenses which he says would give him peace of mind. “I have no great hope that these companies will do the right thing, but when they apply the law, then they would have to stick to them,” he says.

Some 70,000 owner-operators could have a major impact on trucks in the state although they have invested thousands of dollars in their rigs and equipment, according to the California Trucking Association, who tried unsuccessfully exemptions in the bill. rounding. While many trucks employ their own company drivers, most of them rely heavily on independent lorry drivers who have their equipment or are leased to increase their operations.

California has said Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the bill, which would come into effect on January. 1. Experts are attracting the wider economic impact of the legislation. Uber has said that workers do not have to be reclassified and promised to fight. Lyft issued a memo to employees saying some changes could come.

Interpreters and translators based in California say their work in hospitals, in courtrooms, in technology companies and beyond, often working as contractors for numerous language agencies, says Barry Slaughter Olsen, an interpreter who works in English, in Spanish, Portuguese and Russian.

Mr Olsen, who is a professor at the Middlebury International Studies Institute, says interpreters will decide their own hours, choose their own jobs, set their rates and understand the independence of clients. for different companies. He says that many translation agencies would not be able to employ the contractors as employees, even on a part-time basis.

“We are independent workers of choice,” says Mr Olsen. “I can't see how a part-time employee of six or seven different agencies or entities can be.”

Lorena Ortiz Schneider, who worked as a Spanish interpreter and translator for the past 27 years, agrees. She has a small translation company near Santa Barbara who works with approximately 25 contract workers. His firm might not be able to employ all of these people as employees, especially those who focus on long-tail languages ​​- such as Hmong – where there is usually less work, she says. Among her colleagues, Ms. Schneider finds that there is a lot of uncertainty and confusion about how the law might be playing.

“People are kicked out. People don't know where to go, where to get answers, ”says Mr Schneider. “There is a lot of distress.”

For an increasing number of Americans, it is normal practice. Others are now called independent workers, because they take a second job through digital platforms such as Uber or Etsy to end. However, almost everyone is facing the challenges of disproportionate income and access to benefits. (Published March 21, 2018)

While it is not clear exactly how many gig workers there are in California, last year's government data shows that contractual work is relatively small. The proportion of workers employed as independent contractors was 6.9% in May 2017, down from 7.4% in February 2005, according to Department of Labor figures.

Overall, the data showed that more than 90% of American workers had traditional jobs, which meant that workers were on the company's payroll for which they worked. This has changed little since 2005.

However, the California bill is considered a threat to gig workers by companies like Uber and Lyft. “The gig economy has been set up to great flexibility for employees and employers,” said

David Shulman,

senior economist Forecasting UCLA Anderson. “This is to create a big rubbish in that system.”

Wine manufacturers are questioning how the law will affect them. Growers in California work with external contractors and businesses to carry their grapes or to assist them in the study and development of vineyards, analyzing soil conditions, studying weather patterns and predicting demandable grape varieties, t says

Michael Miiller,

director of government relations at California Wine Vegetable Growers Association, an industry group.

Many growers are concerned about whether they have to employ such people as contractors, Mr Miiller says. “They're worried, and they're confused. They want to stick to the law in every way, but they're not quite sure how this works, ”he says.

Mr Miiller says that he believes that the Bill will require ongoing legislation over the next 10 years to “address unintended consequences.” T

Still, many groups support the bill and say it will help workers. AM Davies, a board member of Los Angeles of Soldiers of Pole, an organization that works with union strippers, says the law will force many clubs to employ dancers as employees, rather than contractors. The bill confirms our work as actual work, ”said Ms Davies. “This puts us on the same pitch with employees and other workers and it proves that this is an actual job. We come up at a certain time, we are paid, and we leave at a certain time. We do not scourge the world as people spend with us. We are workers, we are workers, we are not going out and we demand rights like everyone else who is a worker. ”

Write Chip clip at chip.cutter@wsj.com

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