California’s notorious bill severely limiting independent contracting jobs is hindering the state’s response to the COVID-19 crisis while also making it difficult for people stuck at home to get side jobs.
Even so, California Governor Gavin Newsom not only refused to consider a temporary suspension of the economy-destroying bill, but even praised it as an example of the state’s “national leadership.”
It’s not just conservatives who are noticing that AB5 is doing a massive amount of damage in the Golden State. More than 150 economists and political scientists have tried, without success, to convince Governor Newsom that forcing companies to choose between full-time workers or contractors is an extremely bad idea at a time when traditional employment is almost impossible.
Perhaps the most dangerous aspect of the rule is that it has a direct, negative impact on the state’s response to the coronavirus crisis. Non-English speakers and their doctors rely on medical interpreters, many of whom work as part-time independent contractors. Without their assistance, medical professionals are unable to provide medical information.
Furthermore, medical facilities in rural California towns don’t have the funds to hire full-time doctors and nurses for particular specialties, and AB5 forced them to forgo the extra medical assistance they could get from qualified, licensed doctors and nurses who were willing to work part-time.
Governor Newsom is unwilling to consider the needs of his constituents, preferring to put the interests of labor unions and other special interest groups above tens of millions of his fellow citizens. Lawsuits against the questionable bill are being held up in court due to the pandemic, so Californians are likely to be stuck for months as the state suffers from the lack of help that independent contractors would be happy to provide but can’t.
Unfortunately, Newsom isn’t the only Democrat who is all too willing to make it impossible for responsible adults to choose the employment option that best suits their personal situation. Former Vice President Joe Biden also supports AB5. Should the former VP win the upcoming presidential election, the havoc that AB5 is causing in California could easily spread throughout the nation. At this point, that’s more dangerous than a virus from China.