Lawmakers in California are scrambling to deal with the fallout of A.B. 5, a law that forced companies to reclassify independent contractors as employees. The law faces legal challenges from the trucking industry, freelance media creators, and classic gig economy companies like Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash. The law went into effect on January 1, and it has unleashed havoc on California’s economy.
Yet former Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-Church of Social Justice) seems to think the bill is a great idea. In fact, he’s calling for a federal version.
Buttigieg highlighted this policy in a Q&A session on Thursday afternoon. “Misclassifying workers as ‘independent contractors’ is fraud, and it punishes our entire economy. I will empower the Department of Labor to hold employers accountable while expanding protections to 15 million more workers,” Mayor Pete tweeted.
Of course, it is true that misclassifying workers as “independent contractors” is fraud, but the 15 million estimate comes from his policy proposal, to which the candidate linked in his tweet.
Buttigieg unveiled his plan last July, promising that changes in who does and does not count as an independent contractor would expand “rights and protections” for 15 million people. While the plan does not explain how Mayor Pete reached that number, it ostensibly includes contractors working for Uber and Lyft, and likely covers many media freelancers.
When it comes to the gig economy specifically, Buttigieg endorsed the “ABC” test in California’s law.
Under the header, “ALLOW GIG ECONOMY WORKERS TO UNIONIZE AND EARN A FAIR WAGE,” his website explains, “Pete will support codifying the simple ‘ABC test’ for classifying workers nationally in order to prevent workers in the gig economy from being denied minimum wage, overtime, and antidiscrimination protections–and their ability to unionize.” read more