California Considers Law to Rewrite Rules of the Gig Economy

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Uber driver Rebecca Stack-Martinez speaks at a press conference outside Uber's headquarters in San Francisco on June 18, 2019. (Sonja Hutson/KQED)

State legislators are considering a bill that would require many gig-based companies to hire their independent contractors as employees. The bill could affect as many as two million contract workers in California, across a variety of industries, from ride hailing drivers to construction workers to strippers. Supporters of Assembly Bill 5, including drivers for Uber and Lyft who have been rallying in support of the change, say the gig economy is exploiting low income workers. Opponents say the rise in independent work reflects a changing economy and workers' desire for flexibility. They argue the change would be dire for California's economy.


Steve Smith, communications director, California Labor Federation

Katie Orr, politics and government reporter, KQED

Bob Greenlee, head of multistate initiatives, Tusk Strategies and Tusk Ventures