Lyft released the results of a new poll of independent contractors last week. The results showed that an overwhelming number (71 percent) of independent contractors surveyed said that the freedom of independent contractor work outweighs the benefits of being an employee.
Eighty-two percent said that they would rather be considered an independent contractor than an employee and even more (90 percent) said that their independent contractor classification was a “good arrangement” for them.
The rise of the gig economy and independent contractor work has shown that Americans prefer the flexibility and freedom of getting to choose when and where they work. Independent contractors encompass a wide variety of occupations, from transcriptionist to entertainer and more.
While proponents of AB5 paint the law as protecting American workers from “predatory companies” such as Uber and Lyft, in reality, they hurt many more workers that have spent years building up their careers as independent contractors.
In addition, workplace flexibility has become particularly important during this pandemic as the traditional American workplace has been turned upside down.
Laws such as California’s AB5 work to take away this freedom, limiting independent contractors and often taking away their opportunities to work, all in the name of “workers’ rights.”
Even as California legislators continue to add exemptions to their disastrous bill, thousands of contractors throughout the state will continue to suffer because of this bill as exemptions are only granted to those who have the loudest voices.
California legislators and residents should continue to push for a repeal of AB5. As one of the individuals profiled in IWF’s Chasing Work campaign said, these piecemeal exemptions are like “leaky lifeboats,” and serve only to silence the opposition instead of helping Californians.