Early this 12 months, the organizers of a small Bay Space theater advised Alicia Dattner they wouldn’t be capable to pay her for an upcoming comedy act. The explanation: A brand new California regulation that reclassified gig-economy employees, equivalent to Uber drivers, as staff meant it might be too costly to rent her.
“It is unnecessary,” stated Ms. Dattner, who additionally teaches comedy and public talking workshops.
When California legislators handed the high-profile labor regulation final 12 months, they stated it might enhance protections for drivers for ride-hailing and supply corporations equivalent to Uber Technologies Inc., UBER 2.78% Lyft Inc. and DoorDash Inc. By classifying these employees as staff, as an alternative of impartial contractors, the regulation, often known as AB-5, would make these employees eligible for medical health insurance, paid day without work and different advantages—if their roles included duties which might be a part of the conventional course of an organization’s enterprise, amongst different necessities.
It hasn’t labored out that approach. The Silicon Valley corporations have defied the lawmakers’ intentions, leaving their drivers’ standing unchanged whereas they battle the regulation within the courts and wage a pricey marketing campaign to carry a statewide popular vote this November on a measure that might exempt them from the regulation.