California workers are afforded certain protections in the workplace. While many of these protections are meant to halt discrimination and harassment, others are meant to ensure workers are paid fair compensation. This is why federal and state laws regulate wages and hours. Yet, despite these regulations, many employers still fail to adhere to them, which cheat workers out of their hard earned wages and benefits.
One issue that has recently been thrust into the spotlight is the classification of rideshare drivers. Currently, drivers for many companies are classified as independent contractors, which means they don’t receive legal protections regarding minimum wage and overtime pay or workers’ compensation benefits and paid time off. Last year, the California Supreme Court provided guidance on when a worker should be deemed an employee rather than an independent contractor, but the state legislature just recently passed a bill that is likely to become law.
The bill indicates that an individual is an employee under one of three circumstances. First, an individual should be classified as an employee if their employer controls their work. Second, an individual is an employee if the work performed is a usual part of the employer’s business. Third, an individual is an employee if workers don’t typically operate an independent business that carries out the same functions as the employer in question.
Uber has continued to claim that its workers are not employees. In fact, a recently filed class action lawsuit hopes to capitalize on the new employee bill to shut Uber’s argument down.
What is clear, though, is that far too many Californians are subjected to employment practices that violate their rights. Those who feel like they have been wronged in this respect can consult with a skilled legal professional who can help them develop wage and hour claims to reach a favorable resolution.