AFTER CA Primary, Democrat Presidential Candidate Biden Tweets Support For Harris endorses Biden; Mayor Garcia (who endorsed Harris then Biden) and LB Council incumbents mum on proposed changes or repeal of AB 5
Harris endorses Biden; Mayor Garcia (who endorsed Harris then Biden) and LB Council incumbents mum on proposed changes or repeal of AB 5
|(March 8, 2020, 6:40 p.m.) -- Four days after voting ended in the delegate-rich CA primary, Democrat presidential candidate former Senator/former Obama VP Joe Biden has Tweeted support for AB 5, the "gig economy" bill backed by organized labor and enacted in 2019 by CA's Dem majority legislature that freelance professionals in multiple fields (from musicians to writers to caterers to trucks) say has cost them jobs by requiring those who hire them to treat then as formal employees (subject to costly and complex CA labor laws and regulations) instead of as more flexible independent contractors.
In a March 7, 2020 Tweet, Biden said:
I support #AB5 in California, which will give workers the dignity they deserve in the workplace. I agree with @transportworker that we can't let corporations undermine basic rights by adding these exemptions to ground-breaking legislation.
Reaction was swift on Biden's Twitter feed and on the Freelancers Against AB 5 Facebook page, mainly deploring his stance. Some examples:
[Scroll down for further.]
From the Biden campaign's Twitter feed:
My mom either loses her income, or is forced to move out of CA to keep a 30 year career as an independent contractor, due to AB5. She's 6th gen Ca born. You just lost our votes. For the first time in my life I voted red. I felt sick to my stomach.#RepealAB5 #DemsAgainstAB5
[initiating comment] OK guys. The moment I dreaded is here. Biden just tweeted that he is PRO AB5. Before we all go down the expected route of pointing fingers, name-calling, partisan pie fights and so on, let's focus our energy in something more productive. As a registered Democrat, I feel that the party has betrayed us for unions because they are a one-stop-shop for getting elected and remaining in power. They give you money, people to call, text, canvas, and voters. Yes, unions provide their members a list of how to vote and, usually, their household follows. We need to focus all our energy (many of us have been fighting this since June and are exhausted) in educating the Biden campaign and fellow Democrats about the disaster of AB5. Letís focus our energy on Biden and NOT Lorena [Gonzalez Fletcher, primary author of AB 5.] Please go to Twitter and share your #ab5story on his tweet. We can do this. Also, tag @DrBiden thatís his wife. Here is the link. Respond and let him know the damage and the reasonable people/voters this law devastates. https://twitter.com/JoeBiden/status/1236381353811120128
I'm so tired of this! They aren't listening! I'll be voting Republican this time around! The Democratic Party has lost me. I'm so tired of not being heard. Itís time to vote for those listening!
He needs to be educated about it. He obviously has been fed pro AB5 propaganda and not given the correct information on how devastating it is.
I wish I had your optimism. Still, tweeting Biden with facts and real life stories may help his team see it is advantageous to, at least, support the Bill advocating a one year grace period.
[This Facebook thread generated 877 comments before the Facebook page's administrator turned off comments to the initiating comment.]
On March 8, former Presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris endorsed Biden. The CA co-chair for Harris' failed presidential campaign was LB Mayor Robert Garcia, who's now endorsed Biden.
No LB Council incumbents have agendized a Council item to take a position on multiple now-pending bills proposing to amend/tweak/create exceptions or repeal AB 5.
In 2019, AB 5 was enacted with the support of all Sac'to Dems including LB area Assemblymembers Patrick O'Donnell, Mike Gipson, Speaker Anthony Rendon and state Senators Lena Gonzalez and Tom Umberg. Governor Gavin Newsom signed it into law.
Assembly concurrence in Senate amendments: (61-16-2)
Governor Newsom then signed AB 5 into law; it took effect on Jan. 1, 2020.
On February 27, 2020 as previously reported by LBREPORT.com, Assembly Democrats -- including the LB-area's Patrick O'Donnell (D, LB-SP), Mike Gipson (NLB-Carson) and Speaker Anthony Rendon (D, NLB-Paramount) -- swiftly derailed an effort by nrothern California Republican Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R, Placer/El Dorado/Sacramento counties) to allow an Assembly floor vote on AB 1928 (by northern CA Republican Kevin Kiley) that would have suspended enforcement of AB 5 until the Sacramento legislature acts on multiple bills now pending that propose either to tweak/amend/create exceptions to AB 5 or in some cases repeal it entirely. .
Assemblyman Kiley was allowed to speak for roughly 19 seconds. He'd completed his first sentence (requesting Assembly consent to suspend Assembly rules [requires 2/3 vote] to withdraw AB 1928 from the Assembly's Labor and Employment Committee and allow Assembly floor discussion and a floor vote on the bill. He was starting his second sentence when presiding Assembly Speaker Pro Tem Kevin Mullin (D, San Mateo) interrupted him, said he'd made motion and added that his motion also required suspending a provision of the state constitution [bills need to be "read" three separate times on three separate days].
Suspending both provisions required a 2/3 vote. It wasn't even close. The Assembly voted 15-50 against taking up AB 1928...
And after the vote was tallied and displayed above, five additional Assemblymembers (all Democrats) added their "no" votes to the total: Assemblymembers Gray, Irwin, Maienschein, Muratsuchi and Salas, making the official tally 15-55.
The Feb. 27, 2020 Assembly floor vote didn't kill AB 1928 which would restore the former multi-factor test (in the Borello case) including whether the person to hires the freelancer has the right to control the manner and means of accomplishing the result desired, and other identified factors. AB 1928 remains in the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee...which hasn't yet scheduled a hearing on it. It's one of multiple bills now pending that propose tweaks/amendments/exceptions to AB 5 or in some cases propose its complete repeal.
AB 5 was strongly supported by organized labor, arguing workers needed protection against "misclassification" of their work as independent contractors when they were effectively employees. AB 5 echoed the reasoning of a CA Supreme Court opinion (Dynamex) that effectively changed the legal standard in CA for deciding if a worker is an independent contractor or an employee. The state legislature (if not vetoed by Governor Newsom) can ultimately determine the legal standards in CA for independent contractors vs. employees (and could change the standard back to what it was before Dynamex.) However in 2019, with Sacramento Republicans dissenting, Assembly and state Senate Democrats approved AB 5 which gave Dynamex statutory legs and Governor Newsom signed it into law.
AB 5's primary author, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher (D, San Diego) has tweaks/amendments she'd accept to AB 5. In a release here, Assemblywoman Gonzlez-Fletcher called her proposed amendments "the first substantive round of amendments to AB 1850" [a placeholder bill Gonzalexz-Fletcher introduced to modify changes to AB 5.] Gonzalez-Fletcher's AB 1850 is one of a number of bills (most by Republicans given little chance of advancing in Sac'to's partisan atmosphere) to create exceptions to AB 5 or repeal it outright (as Assemblyman Kiley's AB 1928 would do.)
AB 5 has been challenged in federal court by the CA Trucking Association (which argued some drivers opted to operate as independent contractors setting their own schedules and profiting from owning their own vehicle). The American Society of Journalists and Authors and the National Press Photographers Association have also sued in federal court, alleging that AB 5 unconstitutionally limits the amount of work they can perform on a freelance basis for a single publisher unlike any other job category it lists as "professional services." Uber and Postmates have also filed suit arguing AB 5 denies them equal protection based on what types of jobs it does or doesn't exempt.
Governor Newsom's proposed FY21 state budget asks state lawmakers to allocate $21 million for investigations and enforcement of AB 5 (meaning state Senators and Assemblymembers will cast votes on this on or before June 30, 2020.):
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