This week in California, a bill may pass with the aim to lower the number of California workers classified as independent contractors. If Assembly Bill 5 passes the state legislature, Gov. Gavin Newsom has indicated that he’ll sign it into law, the L.A. Times reports.
The California News Publishers Association has advocated for a special exemption from the law, as it would affect newspaper carriers’ status. So far, no exemption has been offered. “AB 5 will likely cause the death knell for some printed version of California newspapers,” said an editorial from the group.
The L.A. Times editorial board also penned a piece opposing the law. “Forcing newspaper distribution companies to classify as employees the drivers who spend a couple of hours a day delivering papers before heading off to other jobs would add considerable cost to newspaper delivery and may cause newspapers to shrink their delivery areas or even end delivery of the papers,” it said.
The bill’s author, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), has agreed to provide a list of exemptions for industries and professions that have long relied on independent contractors, including healthcare providers, real estate agencies and law firms, the paper said. “Our industry deserves the same treatment,” it said.