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California Law for Contract Workers

If you`re a California-based freelancer or independent contractor, you know that the state`s labor laws can be complicated to navigate. However, recent updates to California`s labor laws for contract workers have generated buzz and raised questions about what these updates mean for contractors.

Firstly, it`s important to note that California has long been considered to have some of the nation`s most stringent labor laws. The state has a robust set of labor protections in place to ensure that employees are treated fairly, and that includes freelancers and independent contractors.

One such law that has generated attention in California is the Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) which went into effect on January 1, 2020. This law applies a “ABC test” to determine whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee of a company. The ABC test consists of three factors:

A – The worker is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for the performance of the work and in fact

B – The worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity`s business

C – The worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as that involved in the work performed

The ABC test makes it more difficult for employers to classify workers as independent contractors, which means that many previously classified contractors may now be eligible for employee benefits like health insurance, paid vacation time, and workers` compensation.

However, it`s important to note that there are exemptions to the AB5 law for certain professions and industries. For example, licensed insurance agents, real estate agents, and hairstylists are among the categories of workers who are exempt from the law.

In addition to AB5, California has also passed other laws that protect contract workers. One such law is Assembly Bill 1701, which holds general contractors liable for wage theft by their subcontractors. This law helps ensure that all workers on a particular project are paid fairly and can hold accountable the party ultimately responsible for paying them.

Another important law for California contract workers is the Freelance Isn`t Free Act (FIFA), which went into effect on January 1, 2018. FIFA protects freelancers by requiring that contracts for any freelance work valued at $600 or more be in writing and include specific information such as the scope of work, payment terms, and dispute resolution options.

Overall, California`s labor laws for contract workers are designed to promote fairness and security for independent contractors in the state. While AB5 has generated controversy, it`s also brought attention to the growing gig economy and the need for protections for workers in this sector. Freelancers and independent contractors in California should take the time to familiarize themselves with these laws, and to seek legal advice if they have any questions about their status or rights.

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