According to NBC Los Angeles, freelance writers and photographers are challenging California’s new law that reclassifies workers as employees instead of independent contractors. The law is a codification of the Dynamex case (a ruling of the California Supreme Court) which aimed to help independent contractors obtain employee rights protections. Classification as an employee usually means more pay, more benefits, and more protections. Employee status can include the right to health benefits and employer contributions to federal taxes. Employee status also can include protection from discrimination, sexual assault, and wrongful firing.
The law was enacted primarily in response to the classification of workers for Uber and Lyft which are rideshare companies. The legal action was brought by “the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the National Press Photographers Association” which says the law would unconstitutionally affect free speech and the media. Freelance workers worry that the law may mean less work.
The Pacific Legal Foundation, a party to the lawsuit, is concerned about “what it calls an ‘irrational and arbitrary’ limit of 35 submissions each year to each media outlet. The Two associations have more than 650 California members. They’re asking the court to “invalidate the portion of the law that would affect them” because it singles out a particular classification of workers, the press.
The lawsuit follows a legal challenge raised by the California Trucking Association. The rideshare companies; Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash, are intent on spending $90 million to support a 2020 ballot measure if they can’t negotiate better terms for their drivers.
For now, the law and the court decision, help workers gain better pay, more benefits, and more employee rights.
If you are being classified as an independent contractor, you should review your work status with an experienced California employment lawyer. You may have the right to be reclassified as an employee where you can assert your financial and legal rights more strongly than if you are an independent contractor. To discuss your employee rights, call the law offices of Stephen Danz & Associates to schedule an appointment.
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