SCV Chamber joins coalition advocating for independent contractors

The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce is one of the latest to join a coalition aimed at advocating on behalf of independent contractors throughout the state, officials announced Thursday.

The “I’m Independent” coalition, supported by scores of other organizations, such as the California Employment Law Council and the Los Angeles County Business Federation, aims “to modernize our laws and have a robust discussion about worker protection and worker choices to reflect today’s realities,” according to its website.

There are nearly 2 million people in the state who classify as independent contractors, ranging from construction workers to actors and barbers, based on federal labor bureau data. These individuals were faced with big work changes after April 2018, when the California Supreme Court ruled the Dynamex Case, which updated rules for defining who classifies as an independent contractor.

To avoid penalties, businesses must now follow the “ABC” test to show someone is an independent contractor:

  1. Worker must be free from control and direction of the hirer.
  2. Worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business.
  3. Worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as the work performed for the hiring entity.

“For several decades, California has allowed independent contractors to be part of the work force, allowing individuals who need schedule flexibility and extra income to make ends meet,” Nancy Starczyk, chamber board chair, said in a statement. “For the California Supreme Court to make a decision that should be put in the hands of our policymakers is unheard of.”

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