New California labor law may convert Independent Contractors to Employees

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Of course it will affect everyone not just shoppers in CA. MSC's will have higher costs in CA for Nationwide programs. Those costs have to be recovered somewhere. Shoppers in other states will be making less to cover the extra costs in CA.
I read another article on AB5, it was specific to Uber and Lyft drivers. The amount of time they spend waiting between jobs they will be paid for under the bill. When it comes to applying those rules to mystery shopping, when we do Post Office shops back to back and have to wait a half an hour in between them, probably the same thing would apply, you're paid the wait time.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/01/2019 02:51AM by tstewart3.
I am not so sure we will fall under the bill the way it is described in the article above. We do set our own hours and can negotiate, or at least try to negotiate, the pay. We apply for and accept individual jobs. We do not pick a chunk of time and say we are available and then get sent to jobs within that time frame. And for many of the larger companies we are not their core business. If you look at their websites you will see they do a lot of other things aside from mystery shopping. We are only one piece. It seems to me that if we are considered employees than we would have to agree to work, say noon to four two days per week or whatever shifts. Then the company would line up jobs for us to do in that time frame. A million workers might sound like a lot to some of you but it does not account for all workers in this very populated state.
We shall see though.
I would be surprised if there was any real impact in the near future, though we can but hope for positive change.
This is just the beginning of government attempting to wrap their collective heads around the paradigm shift in labor caused by the new gig economy. Stay tuned over the next decade. Reality is moving much faster than the glacial pace of government.

Thank goodness I'm too stupid to be mental!
"The court set a strict new test: Workers must be treated as employees, not independent contractors, if their jobs are central to a company’s core business or if the bosses direct the way the work is done. For instance, a solo plumber with his own company who is hired by a bakery to fix a leak can be an independent contractor. But a plumber working regularly for a plumbing company and sent out on jobs must be an employee."

We are not in a workplace and not sent out on jobs. We choose our jobs and define our work schedule.

My posts are solely based on my opinions and for my entertainment, contact a professional if you need real advice.

When you get in debt you become a slave. - Andrew Jackson
@isaiah58 wrote:

"The court set a strict new test: Workers must be treated as employees, not independent contractors, if their jobs are central to a company’s core business or if the bosses direct the way the work is done. For instance, a solo plumber with his own company who is hired by a bakery to fix a leak can be an independent contractor. But a plumber working regularly for a plumbing company and sent out on jobs must be an employee."

We are not in a workplace and not sent out on jobs. We choose our jobs and define our work schedule.

Due to the control that MSCs have over where we work, how we do the job and how much we are paid, the only reason we are not consideted employees now is the contract we sign specifically saying we are independent contractors. If the state of California invalidates those contracts we would be considered employees.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/03/2019 03:43AM by tstewart3.
I have been a mystery shopper for years and years now. There has been no time when the msc's have dictated anything to me. I look at a job offering, see what is asks for and then decide if I want to apply for it. I do not get fired if I do not apply for a job. I am not assigned work by anyone unless I first agree to abide by the rules of that specific job by applying for it after I see what the rules are. I don't know what kind of mystery shopping you do where ever you live but out here in California my jobs are not dictated to me.
The same with an independent contractor who is a plumber with their own plumbing business. They are contacted by a consumer or they go door to door and contact consumers. The consumer tells them they want a pipe fixed and may tell them they want PVC used. The consumer says I am home Mondays and Wednesdays from 10-1 and that is when I would like the job done. You will need to clean up the area before you leave and make sure you are wearing clean clothing. You need to bring your own tools. The consumer in this case is the msc for our jobs. The consumer might say "I can pay you $75 and no more." The plumber can then accept the job or say they are never available during those hours and reject the job or negotiate a bonus of another $10...just like us.

@tstewart3 wrote:

@isaiah58 wrote:

"The court set a strict new test: Workers must be treated as employees, not independent contractors, if their jobs are central to a company’s core business or if the bosses direct the way the work is done. For instance, a solo plumber with his own company who is hired by a bakery to fix a leak can be an independent contractor. But a plumber working regularly for a plumbing company and sent out on jobs must be an employee."

We are not in a workplace and not sent out on jobs. We choose our jobs and define our work schedule.

Due to the control that MSCs have over where we work, how we do the job and how much we are paid, the only reason we are not consideted employees now is the contract we sign specifically saying we are independent contractors. If the state of California invalidates those contracts we would be considered employees.
@sandyf wrote:

I have been a mystery shopper for years and years now. There has been no time when the msc's have dictated anything to me. I look at a job offering, see what is asks for and then decide if I want to apply for it. I do not get fired if I do not apply for a job. I am not assigned work by anyone unless I first agree to abide by the rules of that specific job by applying for it after I see what the rules are. I don't know what kind of mystery shopping you do where ever you live but out here in California my jobs are not dictated to me.
The same with an independent contractor who is a plumber with their own plumbing business. They are contacted by a consumer or they go door to door and contact consumers. The consumer tells them they want a pipe fixed and may tell them they want PVC used. The consumer says I am home Mondays and Wednesdays from 10-1 and that is when I would like the job done. You will need to clean up the area before you leave and make sure you are wearing clean clothing. You need to bring your own tools. The consumer in this case is the msc for our jobs. The consumer might say "I can pay you $75 and no more." The plumber can then accept the job or say they are never available during those hours and reject the job or negotiate a bonus of another $10...just like us.

@tstewart3 wrote:

@isaiah58 wrote:

"The court set a strict new test: Workers must be treated as employees, not independent contractors, if their jobs are central to a company’s core business or if the bosses direct the way the work is done. For instance, a solo plumber with his own company who is hired by a bakery to fix a leak can be an independent contractor. But a plumber working regularly for a plumbing company and sent out on jobs must be an employee."

We are not in a workplace and not sent out on jobs. We choose our jobs and define our work schedule.

Due to the control that MSCs have over where we work, how we do the job and how much we are paid, the only reason we are not consideted employees now is the contract we sign specifically saying we are independent contractors. If the state of California invalidates those contracts we would be considered employees.

I spent the biggest chunk my career in public accounting in CA. One of the tasks was to evaluate if workers for clients were properly classified as an independent contractors or employees. Stakes were high, if the state came in (evaluating 3 to 5 years after) and decided that the workers were employees and not independent contractors the company/client owed all the payroll taxes that should have been collected plus penalties and interest.

The one thing you left out of your List of Demands is how they do the job. As a plumber they know what they're doing and you were not giving them a list of how to do their job. Those standards are set by the contractors license board not you. You are giving direction of you want the pipe fixed but he's the one follows the standards set by the licensing board. You might think you have control over how they do their job but they're not going to do anything contrary to affect their license.

Why don't you come up with a similar list of demands for all the MSCs and see how much you're going to work? You might think you have the control but you don't. If you want to work you have to be flexible. The state of California is not going to evaluate whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor in the same way. They have a vested interest and making the maximum amount of workers in California employees. They collect more payroll taxes that way and that is what is driving AB5.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/04/2019 02:21AM by tstewart3.
Time will tell where the state will go on this. By the way, your response makes absolutely no sense to me. My brain is just not working tonight. I have no idea what you mean about me coming up with a similar list of demands and see how much I work. What list of demands did I even come up with in my post? The only thing I said was I am not available from 10-1 and inquired about a bonus on my job. I can have a very thriving mystery shop business without working from 10-1.
I read this New York Times article [nyti.ms] and thought immediately about the effect on our industry. Hundreds of Mystery Shopping Providers (MSP) should recognize a shift that State or local governments might impose. There is a push by all IC's for better wages, a minimum of $15 per hour / per assignment, and the government wants to ensure they get their cut. MSP's controlling IC performance with rigid assignment guidelines and bidding the assignment fee down for IC's to compete like Uber and Meal delivery drivers are falling right into the trap. Clients get poor quality, IC's get underpaid, and Government steps in to force MSP's to hire their workers, pay better wages and provide benefits, and then Government taxes the added income. MSP's should recognize that no amount of legal jargon in the IC Agreement is going to fend off the Government especially if IC pay remains low.

Here are some steps to ponder:
Formulate most assignments to be app-based.
Raise the assignment fees.
Encourage IC's to be contracted with multiple MSP's.
Offer higher PAD and incentives.
Eliminate assignment narratives that lead to Editors grading IC's input.
Structure guidelines to be less about how the IC's conduct their business and more about the observations the Client wants to be revealed.

Read the article and comment. [nyti.ms]

40 years a Shopkeeper ...
@Shopkeeper wrote:

Here are some steps to ponder:
Formulate most assignments to be app-based.
Raise the assignment fees.
Encourage IC's to be contracted with multiple MSP's.
Offer higher PAD and incentives.
Eliminate assignment narratives that lead to Editors grading IC's input.
Structure guidelines to be less about how the IC's conduct their business and more about the observations the Client wants to be revealed.

Read the article and comment. [nyti.ms]

It is natural to be apprehensive of change, but I have done 90% of my mystery shop work under a similar system for nearly 11 years. Here are my observations.
1. Most assignments are NOT app based. They are assigned by email, phone, or job board and are reported online.
2. Most assignments pay significantly more than the same assignments pay under the IC system currently used in most states.
3. IC's are not specifically encouraged to contract with multiple MSP's, but they are welcome to do so if they wish.
4. I have not known PAD or bonuses to be higher or lower with one system over the other.
5. Assignment narratives still exist but are often not graded, and grades are not as significant on those assignments that do receive grades.
6. I have observed no difference in the structure guidelines. It is more about the observations the client wants revealed, no matter which system is used.
7. Under the IC as employee system, the IC (employee) gets paid with similar frequency to other jobs, instead of having to wait several weeks, months, or chase payments.
8. Under the IC as employee system, the IC (employee) is automatically exposed to and has access to many, many more clients without having to apply to dozens of clients on his own.
9. Under the IC as employee system, the IC (employee) unfortunately has to provide their own medical insurance, just as in the IC system.
10. Under the IC as employee system, the IC (employee) still has the choice to take standard deduction or itemize business expenses on Schedule C.
11. Under the IC as employee system, the IC (employee) can still choose which jobs he/she wants to self-assign or to apply or not apply for.
Here is a link to an article outlining what was sent today to the Governor of California's desk to sign.
"The legislation, which passed the Assembly 56 to 14 and the Senate 29 to 11, codifies and expands on a 2018 California Supreme Court decision which adopted a strict, three-part standard for determining whether workers should be treated as employees, modeled on a Massachusetts test."

[www.latimes.com]
With the recent changes in the income tax laws, I fear that employees can no longer deduct business related expenses -- except perhaps on a route, out of town overnight. And even when we COULD, the restrictions made it difficult.

As it is now, if I complete an 1,100 mile route, and gross about $550 (haha), it's 100% tax-sheltered. I get to put the entire $550 in my pocket next month.

If I become an employee, that mileage becomes an ordinary commute, and is not deductible in any scenario I can imagine.

I would be financially much worse off as an employee (assuming that the MSC that hires me manages to pay minimum wage).

I have been pondering recently the implications of being "blocked" on MarketForce.

I wonder if they realize this is a "slippery slope", perhaps bolstering the argument that we are, after all, employees, not ICs.

They have, in effect, eliminated those blocked shoppers from negotiating fees.

Definitely a step in the wrong direction, if they do not wish us to be considered "employees".
I also put this link to the latimes news about the bill which hit the desk of the California governor today in the other thread.

[www.latimes.com]

Personally I do not think we will be re classified in California.... and California laws may not be a model for other states any time soon even if we are. I would think the bigger threat might be that the msc's change their models if they have to re classify us and find a different way to cover the far away shops in little towns.
@tstewart3 wrote:

@sandyf wrote:

I have been a mystery shopper for years and years now. There has been no time when the msc's have dictated anything to me. I look at a job offering, see what is asks for and then decide if I want to apply for it. I do not get fired if I do not apply for a job. I am not assigned work by anyone unless I first agree to abide by the rules of that specific job by applying for it after I see what the rules are. I don't know what kind of mystery shopping you do where ever you live but out here in California my jobs are not dictated to me.
The same with an independent contractor who is a plumber with their own plumbing business. They are contacted by a consumer or they go door to door and contact consumers. The consumer tells them they want a pipe fixed and may tell them they want PVC used. The consumer says I am home Mondays and Wednesdays from 10-1 and that is when I would like the job done. You will need to clean up the area before you leave and make sure you are wearing clean clothing. You need to bring your own tools. The consumer in this case is the msc for our jobs. The consumer might say "I can pay you $75 and no more." The plumber can then accept the job or say they are never available during those hours and reject the job or negotiate a bonus of another $10...just like us.

@tstewart3 wrote:

@isaiah58 wrote:

"The court set a strict new test: Workers must be treated as employees, not independent contractors, if their jobs are central to a company’s core business or if the bosses direct the way the work is done. For instance, a solo plumber with his own company who is hired by a bakery to fix a leak can be an independent contractor. But a plumber working regularly for a plumbing company and sent out on jobs must be an employee."

We are not in a workplace and not sent out on jobs. We choose our jobs and define our work schedule.

Due to the control that MSCs have over where we work, how we do the job and how much we are paid, the only reason we are not consideted employees now is the contract we sign specifically saying we are independent contractors. If the state of California invalidates those contracts we would be considered employees.

I spent the biggest chunk my career in public accounting in CA. One of the tasks was to evaluate if workers for clients were properly classified as an independent contractors or employees. Stakes were high, if the state came in (evaluating 3 to 5 years after) and decided that the workers were employees and not independent contractors the company/client owed all the payroll taxes that should have been collected plus penalties and interest.

The one thing you left out of your List of Demands is how they do the job. As a plumber they know what they're doing and you were not giving them a list of how to do their job. Those standards are set by the contractors license board not you. You are giving direction of you want the pipe fixed but he's the one follows the standards set by the licensing board. You might think you have control over how they do their job but they're not going to do anything contrary to affect their license.

Why don't you come up with a similar list of demands for all the MSCs and see how much you're going to work? You might think you have the control but you don't. If you want to work you have to be flexible. The state of California is not going to evaluate whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor in the same way. They have a vested interest and making the maximum amount of workers in California employees. They collect more payroll taxes that way and that is what is driving AB5.

From Sandy In case it was unclear in my example of the plumber, the list of demands came from the person who was hiring the plumber who was the equivalent in my example to the msc. In this scenario I used we were the "plumber" who just asked for more money or a different time if they took the job. And was able to not take the job if the employer (msc or homeowner/consumer) did not change their demands.
I have never been given line by line instructions on how to do my job as a mystery shopper. I know the standards of the job...like not to mention I am a mystery shopper or be obvious in any way. If I go to a retail store I can have a conversation I design. I might need to ask a specific question sometimes but this is not telling me how to do the job. Most of the rules the msc quote are the rules of our profession. They are reiterated because so many do not act like professionals in this profession and break or ignore rules. Perhaps we should just have to be licensed and then we can call ourselves professional and monitor ourselves. Many of those rules I think are there to help us do our job correctly so we can get paid. They are reminders of what the profession requires. I might have to wear nice clean clothing but I am not told to wear a uniform.
@AZwolfman wrote:

2. Most assignments pay significantly more than the same assignments pay under the IC system currently used in most states.
3. IC's are not specifically encouraged to contract with multiple MSP's, but they are welcome to do so if they wish.
4. I have not known PAD or bonuses to be higher or lower with one system over the other.

I have to disagree with these 3 points.

2. Simply not true. At best they're the same and at worse they're significantly less. Perhaps in the written shop world that's not true? I am doing about 25 video shops next week in Las Vegas. A majority pay exactly what the same shops pay in other locations. 4 of them pay 30% less than I normally get for the exact same shops outside of NV. I have shopped in Vegas at least once per year for the past 4 years and that's been experience each time. I have never been paid more for a video shop in NV than I would have outside of NV.

3. If I'm not mistaken there were complaints several years ago that companies were dropping shoppers if the PILB site showed them as being employees of a specific company.

4. I have only ever been able to receive a bonus on NV shops once and the bonus was probably 1/2 to 1/3 of what a phone call from the actual MSC would have paid in similarly remote areas.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
@bgriffin wrote:

@AZwolfman wrote:

2. Most assignments pay significantly more than the same assignments pay under the IC system currently used in most states.
3. IC's are not specifically encouraged to contract with multiple MSP's, but they are welcome to do so if they wish.
4. I have not known PAD or bonuses to be higher or lower with one system over the other.

I have to disagree with these 3 points.

2. Simply not true. At best they're the same and at worse they're significantly less. Perhaps in the written shop world that's not true? I am doing about 25 video shops next week in Las Vegas. A majority pay exactly what the same shops pay in other locations. 4 of them pay 30% less than I normally get for the exact same shops outside of NV. I have shopped in Vegas at least once per year for the past 4 years and that's been experience each time. I have never been paid more for a video shop in NV than I would have outside of NV.

3. If I'm not mistaken there were complaints several years ago that companies were dropping shoppers if the PILB site showed them as being employees of a specific company.

4. I have only ever been able to receive a bonus on NV shops once and the bonus was probably 1/2 to 1/3 of what a phone call from the actual MSC would have paid in similarly remote areas.

2. "Most shops" are written shops, and almost all of them pay more in NV. Video shops comprise a much smaller percentage of mystery shops than written shops do. Video shops pay about the same, more in some cases, and less in a few other cases.

3. I have never heard that rumor, and it is definitely not true for any of the 4 companies I work for. I do not shop for the fifth or sixth company, because I will not work for free. What you might be referring to is that a few years ago, one specific company (one company, not companies) refused to allow any shopper to shop for them if they were also shopping for one other specific company. That situation did not last long and was rescinded a couple years ago, perhaps due to pressure from the IMSC.

4. Bonuses are offered without asking, whenever a job sits on the board with no takers, and there are always bonuses for end of month and for.route shops. PAD depends on what the shopper can negotiate, and I have noticed no difference from state to state.

Anyway, it looks like we agree on 8 of 11 points. I usually shop a route in AZ or CA every month. Sometimes I route in other states as well if the profit is right. I will let it go at that, as I probably gave out too much information anyway.
They will wreck the industry with this foolishness. If you want to be an employee get a job.
The NPR Nightly Business Report spent about 12 minutes, in 2 segments on this last evening.

The Take-away?
1. There definitely will be multiple-multi-year law suit. The ride share companies have announced a huge "war chest" to fight this in the courts.
2. There is already a petition drive to put the question on the ballot.of how Californians want the ride share industry to compensate drivers, also sponsored by industry. As a "ballot initiative" state, this is a big deal in CA.

Prepare to stay tuned for a LONG time.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
@ceasesmith wrote:

As it is now, if I complete an 1,100 mile route, and gross about $550 (haha), it's 100% tax-sheltered. I get to put the entire $550 in my pocket next month.

If I become an employee, that mileage becomes an ordinary commute, and is not deductible in any scenario I can imagine.

So here's a scenario to expand your imagination: As an employee you can be reimbursed for milage when extensive driving is required, and an 1,100 mile route is not an ordinary commute. Reimbursements are not taxable income.

When I was an employee shopper, the only miles considered as 'commute' was the drive to the initial shop and back from the last shop on route, and it either of those were over 50 miles, the reimbursement kicked in at 50 miles. The max commute in that case might be 100 miles total.

For the $50 milage reimbursement you may give up in that scenario, you may gain some distinct advantages...like being guaranteed a fair mileage rate for the other 1,000 you drive on top of your salary.

As for all the other conjecture about this bill, it's already taking place in a lot of CA businesses and not destroying the economy here. It will not destroy MSing here, but could have a minor (hopefully positive) effect on how MSP's treat and pay shoppers.

Generally, those who would be hurt by legislation like this are those who have found a way to maximize their income to be above above traditional employee wages. Those tend to be the more savvy shoppers, and if you look at the test for IC's not being engaged in the core business, you realize that it could potentially open up a huge opportunity to cut out the MSC middlemen and contract directly with companies that need MS services. We could become the independent plumbers and greatly increase our income levels. Just try to get a plumber to your house for $5 and a sandwich.....
Reimbursements above the IRS mileage rate or your actual mileage rate are taxable income.

When doing a route, your home to your first stop is considered commuting as well as your last stop on the route then to your home is commuting and not deductible as mileage. The mileage for the stops in between your first shop and the last are what is deductible.


quote=SteveSoCal]
@ceasesmith wrote:

As it is now, if I complete an 1,100 mile route, and gross about $550 (haha), it's 100% tax-sheltered. I get to put the entire $550 in my pocket next month.

If I become an employee, that mileage becomes an ordinary commute, and is not deductible in any scenario I can imagine.

So here's a scenario to expand your imagination: As an employee you can be reimbursed for milage when extensive driving is required, and an 1,100 mile route is not an ordinary commute. Reimbursements are not taxable income.

When I was an employee shopper, the only miles considered as 'commute' was the drive to the initial shop and back from the last shop on route, and it either of those were over 50 miles, the reimbursement kicked in at 50 miles. The max commute in that case might be 100 miles total.

For the $50 milage reimbursement you may give up in that scenario, you may gain some distinct advantages...like being guaranteed a fair mileage rate for the other 1,000 you drive on top of your salary.

As for all the other conjecture about this bill, it's already taking place in a lot of CA businesses and not destroying the economy here. It will not destroy MSing here, but could have a minor (hopefully positive) effect on how MSP's treat and pay shoppers.

Generally, those who would be hurt by legislation like this are those who have found a way to maximize their income to be above above traditional employee wages. Those tend to be the more savvy shoppers, and if you look at the test for IC's not being engaged in the core business, you realize that it could potentially open up a huge opportunity to cut out the MSC middlemen and contract directly with companies that need MS services. We could become the independent plumbers and greatly increase our income levels. Just try to get a plumber to your house for $5 and a sandwich.....[/quote]

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/12/2019 09:23PM by tstewart3.
@tstewart3 wrote:

When doing a route, your home to your first stop is considered commuting as well as your last stop on the route then to your home is commuting and not deductible as mileage. The mileage for the stops in between your first shop and the last are what is deductible.

That's what I was saying. I think we are in agreement. The company I worked for would just allow additional reimbursement when the commute was over 50 miles, and they paid at the federal rate.
I read more into this....

[leginfo.legislature.ca.gov]

tl;dr, there are a list of exceptions including engineers and other professions to this bill, which makes sense. Others have mentioned it as well, but the large majority of mystery shoppers are merely "field evaluators" gathering samples of data (like offering our information for paid research studies), and as a result, most mystery shoppers are NOT the consultant and are not performing the duties as the Mystery Shopping Company's core business.

For example, the core of the Mystery Shopping Companies are to provide measurements to their clients as the consultant. Us mystery shoppers have nothing to do with the consulting work and act as sub-contractors to them and do NOT performing similar duties as the consultants themselves, the Mystery Shopping Companies.

For reference,

@ wrote:

621. “Employee” means all of the following:

...

(b) Any individual providing labor or services for remuneration has the status of an employee rather than an independent contractor unless the hiring entity demonstrates all of the following conditions:
(1) The individual 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.
(2) The individual performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business.
(3) The individual is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as that involved in the work performed.

... Which reads as what us the large majority of mystery shoppers fall into. Yes, yes, I know some of you folks are PI's, which is another exemption listed in this bill for you to still be considered an Independent Contractor too:

@ wrote:

(b) Subdivision (a) and the holding in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles (2018) 4 Cal.5th 903 (Dynamex), do not apply to the following occupations as defined in the paragraphs below, and instead, the determination of employee or independent contractor status for individuals in those occupations shall be governed by Borello.

...


(3) An individual who holds an active license from the State of California and is practicing one of the following recognized professions: lawyer, architect, engineer, private investigator, or accountant.

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 29 year old male and willing to travel! Badged for Denver International Airport.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/12/2019 09:49PM by Tarantado.
@panama18 wrote:

They will wreck the industry with this foolishness. If you want to be an employee get a job.

One of the reasons legislators are engaging in this "foolishness" is because over time some industries have erased away jobs only to replace them with IC work. You CAN'T get a job, even after trying hard to get one.

Much of what's left is IC work, which is unprotected, poorly paid (relative to the types of work done and minimum wage laws), and often unpaid. IC workers are left vulnerable to uncompensated injuries, pay less into Social Security system (and will receive less when benefits are paid). They have to pay out of pocket (pre-tax dollars) for things like health insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, and other benefits that companies providee their employees as part of the compensation package.

IC = independent contractor. It's a term that's part of the title inflation problem, which hides a lot of the changes that have been underway. Thirty years ago, a consultant was someone with lots of experience in the managerial field they were consulting on, and made big bucks doing it. Today, "consultant" is another term for independent contractor. Fifty years ago, independent contractors were highly educated, often licensed, professionals who stated and were paid the high fees they demanded for the work they did. They made lots of money. Thirty years ago, they made lots of money, with advisors telling them to charge hourly rates of 33% to 100% more than they would have earned (with salary converted to hourly rate) in the private sector, because they were responsible for paying their own insurance, workers comp, disability, work expenses, etc. If someone were an independent contractor or consultant back then, they earned a lot. If someone is called either of those terms today, they are likely to be exploited and underpaid compared to being paid compensation in line with the kind of work they're doing.

And the trend is for IC work to approach poverty levels. I remember the first crop of Uber drivers were earning six figures from their work. The current crop are lucky if they earn $35K. Read the last line of this article about what Uber drivers really earn: [www.buzzfeednews.com]

Yes, a lot of what the California legislature has done is like closing the barn door after the horses have run out. Creative companies have come up with new ways to provide services by exploiting flaws in old laws. So many have benefited from these flaws in old laws, that no one expects them to quietly go away as California finally, after decades of drip drip drip, enforces the law.
@ wrote:

We could become the independent plumbers and greatly increase our income levels. Just try to get a plumber to your house for $5 and a sandwich.....

LOL!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/13/2019 12:45AM by Susan L..
Perspective is critical here to each individuals reading and understanding of what the law is actually addressing.

In my IT past, I was both an employee as well as a IC at the same company. As an IC, I was on contract for a short term project. I earned an hourly rate for every hour worked, sometimes 50 plus hours a week. I was subject to termination without notice or severance.

As an employee, I was salaried. The benefits the company covered and provided balanced things out. As an employee I had some extra job stability but was "non exempt" which means I was not paid extra for working "professional overtime."

From my perspective, the situation CA is dealing with has to do with companies manipulating the system by redefining full time positions as temporary positions. It's a form of outsourcing that in some sectors is out of control.

As a mystery shopper, our roles have historically been well understood and defined. Nothing has changed, no companies are using us to manipulate hiring practices.

My posts are solely based on my opinions and for my entertainment, contact a professional if you need real advice.

When you get in debt you become a slave. - Andrew Jackson
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