Pasadena-Burbank-Valley Area Independent Contractors and Small Business Owners Share Impacts of Dynamex Court Decision

Wednesday’s press conference. – Courtesy photo / Facebook, Pasadena Chamber of Commerce

Ask legislators to support legislative fix to the decision

Pasadena and Valley area independent contractors and business owners gathered at the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce Wednesday morning urging state legislators to support additional changes to Assembly Bill 5 to encompass a more “holistic” solution to address today’s workforce. According to a press release issued by press conference organizers, “Many independent contractors want or need the flexibility and additional income it provides and legislation will ensure that their livelihoods are not taken away.”

Last year, the California State Supreme Court issued a decision Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles that set standards to determine whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor. Carolyn Said, of the San Francisco Chronicle, summarized the decision. “The ruling, in a suit brought by delivery drivers at Dynamex, made it harder for businesses to classify workers as independent contractors. It implemented a formula, called the ABC test, that says workers are employees if companies control what they do, if their tasks are central to a company’s core business, and if they don’t run independent businesses doing that work.”

The group gathered at the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce worries the decision could negatively impact millions of independent contractors and small businesses. Local area independent contractors and small business owners urged local state legislators to support additional amendments to Assembly Bill 5 which would codify the decision in the Dynamex case and “would provide that the factors of the ‘ABC’ test be applied in order to determine the status of a worker as an employee or independent contractor for all provisions of the Labor Code and the Unemployment Insurance Code, unless another definition or specification of ‘employee’ is provided.”

Those who attended and spoke at today’s press conference included, Paul Little, Pasadena Chamber of Commerce president/CEO; Tina Kerrigan, dietician; Mukesh Kashyap, Yellow Cab Co. taxi driver; Kathleen “Kat” O’Sullivan, K-Shift owner; Jimmy Thompson, a rideshare driver; and various other freelancers and business owners.

“We all have different jobs and experiences in the LA area, but we are all concerned that Dynamex will take away our flexibility and livelihoods,” said Kashyap. “Even though lawmakers have recognized some industries, others are still at risk. Many like me need to be independent contractors in order to be there for our families.”

Nearly two million Californians choose to work as independent contractors or freelancers for many reasons: flexible scheduling, quality of life, control over their work, more economic security, or simply because they enjoy it. In fact, nearly 90% of independent contractors site this flexibility of scheduling as an important aspect of their work.

May 15, 2019

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