On-Demand Drivers Urge Modern Solution that Protects Flexibility, Expands Benefits & Pay Standards
AB 5 Helps Some Independent Contractors; Creates Uncertainty and Economic Anxiety
for Hundreds of Thousands of Independent Contractors
Sacramento, CA, September 18, 2019 – In response to Governor Gavin Newsom’s signing of Assembly Bill 5 today, the I’m Independent Coalition encompassing on-demand drivers and couriers, truck owner-operators, health care professionals, non-profits, musicians, language interpreters, franchise owners, and many others, are urging additional legislation to relieve their economic anxiety and uncertainty.
While over twenty professions were exempted from the Dynamex decision with the adoption of AB 5, it has left hundreds of thousands of independent contractors who do not want to be employees with uncertainty and economic anxiety. Governor Newsom today recognized that more work needs to be done which was also echoed by several legislators in their remarks when they passed AB 5 last week.
For rideshare and courier on-demand drivers, they have said overwhelmingly that they do not want to be employees as it will equal loss of work opportunities and potentially less pay.
“My husband and I work as independent contractors on top of our regular jobs, and that extra income – on our terms – allowed us to save enough money to buy a home,” said Tamara Krake, an on-demand delivery driver from Sacramento. “As an HR manager, I know full well that being classified as an employee would NOT provide the same flexibility to work when I want, or allow me to set my own goals for the evening and then stop when I reach them.”
For example, over 300,000 on-demand drivers will be out of work, and services will become less reliable, harming some of the most vulnerable populations if drivers became employees according to a new report by Beacon Economics. The report examines three scenarios–all resulting in a significant reduction in work opportunities for drivers if they are forced to become employees. Passengers, will in turn, see significantly longer waits and higher costs. In rural and suburban communities, passengers may lose rideshare service altogether due to the lack of drivers.
Other independent contractors in the health care profession such as physical therapists or nurse anesthetists, truck owner-operators, independent music professionals, non-profits and language interpreters, have increased their economic uncertainty and anxiety with the adoption of AB 5. Many of these professionals make more money as independent contractors and rely on this income to support themselves and their families. They seek further exemptions to ensure that they can continue being an independent contractor.
“We saved money to purchase my own truck and become an independent trucker. We could and can be an employee driver any time We want but We will not earn enough to support my family. For many years we have enjoyed being my own boss, now we are not sure what we will do. We have invested tens of thousands of dollars in purchasing and upkeeping our trucks to make sure they were meeting the state’s requirements. The freedom and flexibility we have enjoyed for years has been taken away with the signing of AB 5 and now our future is uncertain, and our choices are limited. As an independent owner-operator, we make more money while being able to work when and where I want. Without a fix to AB 5, we face losing everything I have worked for,” said truck owner-operator Thien Tran.
The I’m Independent Coalition looks forward to working on additional legislation that will protect these thousands of workers and their choice to work as independent contractors.
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I’m Independent Coalition is made up of thousands of independent contractors and small businesses representing nearly every industry across the state.
Media Contact: Becky Warren, Elevate Public Affairs, [email protected] (916) 607-0129