Newsroom Recent News

Publication

Over 100 exemptions to AB 5 make the case for Prop 22

August 31, 2020
Opinion

By Jim Pyatt

AB 5 is a hot mess. Mere months after it took effect, the same politicians who forced AB 5 on California’s workforce are adding more exemptions to the law—bringing the total number of exemptions to over 100. They are all listed below. There’s a reason they have to keep adding fixes to the shoddily crafted legislation: the law is completely unworkable for an extraordinarily  large number of professions and occupations. Already, the bill is creating a state of confusion for workers like me. But the scramble to add so many exemptions makes three things undeniably clear to app-based drivers and California voters alike.

First, AB 5 is a bad law. It is poorly constructed and overly broad. You don’t need to be a high-paid labor lawyer to know that. But most importantly, the bill has severe unintended consequences for the ability of hundreds of thousands of Californians to get by. 

Second, the politicians pushing for forced employment status are selectively listening to those it impacts. AB 2257, which will likely pass this week and is expected to make it to Governor Newsom’s desk for his signature, would add exemptions for, among other things, competition judges (think beauty pageants), amateur umpires (think little league), and pool cleaners (think Beverly Hills). It also allows for newspaper delivery men and women to work independently, but not food delivery drivers. Ironically, the repo man who comes for my car because I can’t earn enough to make the payments is exempted to do his work, but as an app-based driver, I won’t be able to do mine. Every Californian engaged in these professions deserves to work independently. But why are some Californians allowed that freedom and not others? The logic is confusing at minimum, hypocritical at best, and corrupt at worst.

The author of the bill is Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego. She recently said she designed the new bill after a year of consultation with workers. Which workers did she speak with? She didn’t speak to me. And she sure didn’t listen to the vast majority of the nearly one million drivers who earn extra income through app-based platforms. According to recent independent polls, over 70 percent of app-based drivers want to remain independent; they reject being employees. When’s the last time you heard 70 percent of Americans agree on anything? The overwhelming majority of drivers agree that they want the freedom to choose when and how to work. Our voice wasn’t heard when AB 5 was written, and we’re being selectively ignored now. 

Third, the latest exemptions make the clear case for Prop 22, which is on the ballot this fall. The Legislature won’t listen to us, but we’re confident the voters will. Prop 22 is the comprehensive and universal solution that all app-based drivers can support. In fact, nearly 100,000 drivers have already signed up to help pass Prop 22 because it will not only save hundreds of thousands of jobs and the services Californians rely on, but create a wage guarantee, access to benefits including health care, and strict safety provisions that protect drivers and passengers.  

As a kid, I learned the old saying that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. So doesn’t that make the opposite true? If AB 5 is bad for over 100 categories of professions and occupations, isn’t it equally bad for me and my colleagues who are choosing independent app-based work?

With Prop 22, we’re putting the matter in the hands of the voters. Because clearly, one hundred times over, the Legislature hasn’t listened.

  1. Accountants 
  2. Amateur referee 
  3. Amateur umpire
  4. Animal services 
  5. Architects 
  6. Barber 
  7. Calligraphers 
  8. Commercial fishermen/fisherwomen
  9. Competition judge 
  10. Composer
  11. Construction industry trucking services subcontractors
  12. Copy editor 
  13. Cosmetologist 
  14. Dentists 
  15. Direct-sales persons
  16. Doctors 
  17. Dog groomers 
  18. Dog walkers
  19. Electrologist 
  20. Engineers 
  21. Enrolled agents 
  22. Errand assistances 
  23. Esthetician 
  24. Event planners 
  25. Feedback aggregator 
  26. Fine artists 
  27. Freelance editors 
  28. Freelance newspaper cartoonists 
  29. Freelance writers 
  30. Furniture assembly 
  31. Grant writers 
  32. Graphic artists 
  33. Graphic designers 
  34. Home cleaners 
  35. Home inspector 
  36. Human resources professionals 
  37. Illustrator 
  38. Independent radio promoter 
  39. Individual performance artist 
  40. Individual performing artist 
  41. Individuals performing services under a contract with a licensed “motor club”
  42. Insurance brokers
  43. Insurance loss control professionals 
  44. Insurance premium auditors 
  45. Insurance risk managers 
  46. Insurance underwriter 
  47. International student exchange program operator
  48. Investment advisers 
  49. Investment adviser’s agents
  50. Landscape architects 
  51. Lawyers 
  52. Licensed construction industry subcontractors
  53. Lyricist 
  54. Manager of recording artist 
  55. Manicurist 
  56. Manufactured housing salesperson 
  57. Marketing professionals
  58. Minor home repairers 
  59. Mixed media artists 
  60. Movers 
  61. Musical composition creator
  62. Musical composition marketer 
  63. Musical composition promotion 
  64. Musical engineer 
  65. Musical group 
  66. Musical mixer 
  67. Musician 
  68. Music proofer
  69. Music publicist 
  70. Newspaper carriers 
  71. Newspaper distributors 
  72. Painters
  73. Payment processing agent 
  74. Photo editor 
  75. Photographers 
  76. Photojournalists 
  77. Picture hangers 
  78. Podiatrists
  79. Pool cleaners 
  80. Private Investigators 
  81. Psychologists 
  82. Publication content advisor
  83. Publication content cartographer 
  84. Publication content contributor 
  85. Publication content narrator 
  86. Publication content producer 
  87. Real estate agents
  88. Real estate appraiser 
  89. Record director 
  90. Recording artist 
  91. Recording photo shoot or album cover photographer 
  92. Record producer
  93. Register professional foresters 
  94. Repossession agents 
  95. Sculptors 
  96. Securities brokers/dealers
  97. Songwriter
  98. Sound recording distributor 
  99. Specialized performing arts master class teacher 
  100. Surgeons 
  101. Translator 
  102. Travel agents 
  103. Tutors 
  104. Veterinarians 
  105. Videographer 
  106. Vocalists 
  107. Web designers 
  108. Yard cleaners

Jim Pyatt is a Modesto resident who retired from the newspaper business and drives rideshare part-time.

Source:

Fox & Hounds Daily


Paid for by Yes on 22 – Save App-Based Jobs & Services: a coalition of on-demand drivers and platforms, small businesses, public safety and community organizations. Committee major funding from Uber Technologies, Lyft, and DoorDash.

Privacy Policy