Legislature Redefines What It Means to be an Independent Contractor

(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

FRESNO (KMJ) – The law that would forever change the way millions of Californians work is waiting for the governor’s signature.

State lawmakers have passed a bill that would give wage and benefit protections to workers at so-called gig economy jobs like Uber and Lyft, by changing the definition of what it means to be an independent contractor.

Fresno Assemblyman Jim Patterson was part of the minority that opposed the law.

“This really is abominable legislation, and yet it passed out with a very strong vote,” Patterson said. “I’m very discouraged today, it’s been one of the lower points of my time in the California Legislature.”

The bill would make companies classify their independent contractors as employees.

While its impact on gig economy companies has drawn most of the attention, it would affect a wide array of industries.

“I predict this is going to be challenged in the courts because this is not equal justice under the law, this is just the opposite,” Patterson said.

Click below to listen to the report by KMJ’s Clint Olivier: