My position on AB5:  I oppose it and would work to repeal it.  My reasons for this position are as follows:


  • It is poorly written:   This law was purported to protect workers, specifically "gig workers", and force companies like Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash to provide protections and benefits to their drivers.  However, lost in its purpose is the fact that hundreds of other industries have been caught up in its effects.  It was so poorly written that it nearly ended the entire independent trucking industry which had to get an injunction from the courts to simply continue to exist.  AB2257 has fixed some of the gaps, but not before hundreds of thousands of people were affected and lost income during the worst financial crisis in a century.


  • It is overly broad:  Instead of narrowly focusing on the "gig" part of the industry, the law was written in such a way that it has had unintended consequences.  AB5 was originally written with over 30 exceptions for attorneys, doctors, brokers, and others who successfully lobbied to be excluded.  Based on passionate, bipartisan feedback from constituencies across California, the Assembly has now added over 100 job and industry exclusions to try and fix the damage caused by the original law.  


  • It is confusing:  There is now a sense of fear and frustration among business owners both in and out of California as to how the law is applied and how the California courts will interpret its application.  It uses the "ABC Test” and puts the burden solely on the business to determine if they are applying the law correctly with penalties of $5,000-$25,000 per violation if they get it wrong.  In- and out-of- state companies are reluctant to hire California-based freelancers and contractors out of an abundance of caution.  Freelancers and independent contractors have been hemorrhaging work for months at the worst possible time.


  • It reinforces the earned reputation that California is a difficult place to start and run a business.  If women and minorities are to be the next generation of business leaders and begin to build wealth, we should make starting businesses easier rather than simply encouraging everyone to become an employee. If we encourage doctors, attorneys, and brokers to work for themselves, then why not videographers, musicians, and freelancers?


  • It deeply divided the Senate and Assembly along partisan lines:  We as the Democratic Party should be listening to our colleagues and not ignoring them to push through legislation that is overly broad and poorly written.  More should have been done to narrow the focus of the law and listen to our colleagues in both houses.  Looking back, their warnings were not heeded and we implemented bad legislation.


  • Unions have had an outsized influence on this law and its text:  I am a pro-Union Democrat.  I believe that unions have had a tremendous and positive effect on wages and benefits in our state.  However, it is a simple fact that millions of Californians simply do not want to be an employee or a part of a union.  This law is partially designed to funnel workers into union jobs at the expense of their independence and flexibility.  I plan to represent my entire constituency and not just unions, their members, or the interests of any single organization.

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Lanira Murphy

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Paid for by Murphy For Assembly 2020, FPPC # 1421956