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California’s gig economy law hits an early speed bump

Labor contracts have been the backbone of vital trust between employers and workers for a century or more. Protections vary by state, as many governments have different histories with different industries that require various levels of protection for both companies and employees. California has long prided itself on attracting some of the best talent in the country with the protections to match.

The new year brings a new law from Sacramento that requires employers of large numbers of freelance workers to offer the traditional employment protections previously reserved for career employees hired under traditional contracts. But two large companies with extensive operations in the Golden State have already sued to prevent the law from taking full effect.

The plaintiffs allege that the law is unconstitutional because it arbitrarily excludes some industries like commercial fishing and grant writing, which have a longer history of freelance employment. The case also includes the claim that California’s new law will restrict freelance workers’ flexibility.

The expansion of the so-called “gig economy,” in which workers are often retained for short periods of time with minimal offerings like insurance, may mean that conflicts like these are only beginning. Employers and workers looking to help them achieve their goals have to be aware of the changing landscape, so they know what their privileges and responsibilities are.

An attorney can help clarify old and new laws, as well as work out the terms of contracts, so disputes over labor are minimal. Legal representation is often a very important part of getting past contract disputes of all forms and types.