Statement on Rejection of AB 5 Relief Bills

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) issued the statement below after the Senate Labor, Public Employment, and Retirement Committee today rejected SB 806 (Grove) and SB 990 (Moorlach) that would have helped independent contractors hurt by AB 5 (Gonzalez, 2019). Senator Bates is a co-author of both SB 806 and SB 990. Both bills went down on partisan votes in the five-member committee, with all four Democrats voting in opposition and one Republican voting in support.

“A partisan committee, with all Democrats voting ‘no,’ has once again let down workers who want to remain independent contractors. Only the committee’s Republican member stood up for the contractors by voting ‘aye.’ The ‘no’ votes are yet another blow to workers in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The law should treat everyone fairly, instead of creating winners and losers as AB 5 has done.

“As disappointing as today’s outcome was, I will continue to stand up for independent contractors who are fighting for their economic freedom. Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove and Senator John Moorlach deserve a lot of credit for their efforts to enact AB 5 relief. We will not give up.”

SB 806 would have allowed any industry, profession, or business that had legally utilized independent contractor relationships prior to the Dynamex court decision and AB 5 to continue to do so. An urgency clause had been attached to SB 806, which meant it would have immediately become law upon the Governor’s approval.

SB 990 would have delayed the implementation of AB 5 until January 1, 2022.