(WASHINGTON) – The International Brotherhood of Teamsters applauds the California Senate for voting to pass Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), legislation that will expand employment protections to thousands of workers who are currently misclassified by their employers as independent contractors. Governor Gavin Newsom has committed to signing it into law.
Teamsters have led the fight to protect workers from misclassification since the deregulation of the trucking industry, and were committed to ensuring the passage of AB5. Teamsters from local unions within Joint Councils 7 and 42 took part in multiple lobbying days in Sacramento in support of AB5, meeting with legislators. Many Teamsters from both Joint Councils testified in the various legislative committees that the bill went through during the legislative process. Teamsters Joint Council 7 Political Director Doug Bloch testified at the Assembly Committee on Labor and Employment hearing on misclassification prior to the bill’s introduction.
The California Supreme Court’s landmark April 2018 decision in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. vs. Superior Court of Los Angeles, referred to as “Dynamex,” simplified the test for determining whether a worker is classified as an employee for minimum wage and overtime protections. AB5 is legislation that codifies Dynamex into state law, and makes it harder for employers to misclassify their employees as independent contractors.
“Misclassification is an attempt to weaken the power of workers, including the thousands of truck drivers in California who deserve a living wage and full rights as employees. With this vote, the California Senate has taken a strong stand with workers who should earn a living wage and have the protections to which they are entitled,” said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President.
On Monday, misclassified port truck drivers who work at NFI/Cal Cartage Express went on their fifth unfair labor practices strike at the Port of Los Angeles. With the help of the
Teamsters Port Division and Teamsters Local 848 in Long Beach, the drivers at the Port of LA and Long Beach have been challenging their misclassification as “independent contractors” and exercising their rights as employees. These workers have filed and won individual wage claims and class action lawsuits over their employers’ violations of state and local laws, including failure to pay the minimum wage.
Companies that misclassify their workers as independent contractors avoid paying employee-related expenses such as unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation and Social Security, putting good employers who play by the rules at a competitive disadvantage and workers in jeopardy.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.