COVID-19 pandemic complicates battle over AB5 and gig economy work

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Tendergreens in downtown Culver City advertises its deliveries via DoorDash and Postmates. Gig economy workers, like those who temporarily work for DoorDash and Postmates, are having a tough time making ends meet during the coronavirus pandemic. Photo by Amy Ta.

Gig workers or freelancers don’t typically receive health care insurance,sick pay or even minimum wage. AB5, a bill that went into effect on January 1, classifies freelancers as company employees, making them eligible for benefits. 

But it’s been contentious since the bill passed last year. Proponents believe AB5 protects workers by giving them benefits. But some freelancers say they can’t get enough work because companies are preferring to use workers in other states.

Credits

Guest:
Johana Bhuiyan - Los Angeles Times business reporter covering the technology industry with a focus on accountability

Host:
Steve Chiotakis

Producers:
Christian Bordal, Jenna Kagel, Rebecca Mooney