Senate Republicans Offered a Solution to Assist Independent Contractors

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

SACRAMENTO – Today, Republican Senator Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga) who is the Vice Chair of the Senate Labor, Public Employment and Retirement Committee voiced his opposition and voted against Assembly Bill 5 which seeks to codify a workforce decision that was handed down by the California Supreme Court in 2018. AB 5 was heard in the Senate Labor Committee today and passed on a partisan vote by 4 to 1.

Last year, the state’s highest court ruled on the Dynamex Decision which created a new test to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor.  The new test does not account for the diverse workforce in California and will take away the flexibility that many workers currently enjoy as independent contractors.

Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) introduced Senate Bill 238 which would have kept California’s workforce supportive of independent contractors. Co-authored by all Senate Republicans, SB 238 also received support from numerous business organizations, but Senate Democrats killed the legislation in the Senate Labor Committee in April.

Senator Morrell stated that SB 238 would have assisted all independent contractors, not just specific industries.

“In making laws, we should do so with a mindset of opportunity for all and favoritism toward none. Whereas SB 238 would have treated every industry equally, AB 5 chooses winners and losers and is an egregious example of crony capitalism. I do not fault those who pursued and got carve-outs in AB 5. They had little choice but to look out for their own. The process, however, is a telling commentary on both the terrible ruling in Dynamex and the misguided approach legislative Democrats have taken to the issue. We cannot lose sight that we are not just talking about jobs, but livelihoods. This will be another serious blow to our economy,” said Senator Mike Morrell.

“Single mothers and student Uber drivers will be greatly affected once the Dynamex Decision is codified into law. My legislation, SB 238, is a common-sense solution that would have helped the 2 million independent contractors who call California home. Unfortunately, partisan politics intervened which leaves the livelihood of millions at risk,” said Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove.