The latest earthquake to lớn rock California has come in the form of a new labor law. As of January 1st 2020, Assembly Bill 5 (AB-5) has made it much harder for businesses to lớn classify their workers as independent contractors.

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In this post, we cover what AB-5 has changed, why everyone’s talking about it, và what you can vày to ensure your business is AB-5 ready.

What is AB-5?

Also known as Assembly Bill 5, AB-5 has changed the requirements independent contractors must meet lớn be hired as such in California.

Before AB5, employers could often make the case their workers were independent contractors based on a loose thirteen factor test. This allowed many workers who should have been classified as employees khổng lồ be hired as contractors. However, with AB5, that demo is gone.

Instead, employers must now use the three factor ABC Test. While much more straightforward, the demo allow little wiggle room for businesses lớn classify workers as independent contractors.

The hope is by passing AB-5, many gig economy workers will be hired on a more full-time basis, ending misclassification và converting some of the gig economy into meaningful employment.



Read the full bill here.

Because most independent contractors bởi not meet these requirements, many businesses must now reclassify their workers as employees, including the entertainment industry.

Why is AB-5 monumental?

Unlike independent contractors, employers are owed far greater protections under the law.

This can include, but are not limited to: overtime pay, paid breaks, worker’s compensation, unemployment, anti-discrimination rights, paid time-off, health insurance, và many other employee benefits.

Misclassifying workers as independent contractors deprives employees of their owed benefits.

At the same time, these benefits must be paid for by you, the employer, not khổng lồ mention employer taxes

This can quickly cost your business more money and paperwork for the same labor you once received from an independent contractor.



On the whole, employers have far greater control over employees than independent contractors. But to highlight a few key differences:

Pay Structure: Employees are paid either on an hourly or annual salary. The employer pays this out on a fixed basis, such as bi-weekly, which cannot be changed. Independent contractors, however, are paid in total when work is completed. Lớn be paid, contractors submit an invoice.Taxes: Independent contractors are paid without any withholdings, và their income is reported on a 1099 form. Employees, usually, have taxes withheld every week & have their income reported on a W-2.

How vì I determine if my workers are employees or contractors?

While the worker classification test has changed in CA, your independent contractors could still be hired, as long as they “pass” the ABC Test.


Essentially, if you can prove your worker meets all three of these requirements, you can make the case that they are independent contractors.


Absence of control exists if the worker is không tính phí from the direction or control of the hiring organization both by contract or agreement và in fact.

Do you make your workers an employee handbook, phối hours, or direct what the work must be? Then you could be exerting behavior control, which makes your workers an employee.

Do you forbid your workers from engaging with other clients, or allow them khổng lồ take a loss? Then you might be exerting financial control.

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If the courts can prove you control your worker, then you might be dealing with an employee.


In order to be classified as an independent contractor, the worker must perform work that is “unusual” in regards to lớn the employing organization’s business & / or off the hiring entity’s premises.

For example, an attorney working for a restaurant as outside counsel would be an independent contractor, since the work is unusual compared khổng lồ the restaurant’s regular business & performed off-site at the attorney’s office.

However, painters hired to lớn paint the inside of a ngân hàng would still be independent contractors. Even though they are performing their work at the employer’s office, their work is still unusual compared lớn the bank’s trade.

A great way lớn think about this prong of the thử nghiệm is khổng lồ ask yourself, “Am I outsourcing?” If you can outsource a function for your business, it’s usually outside your usual business.


Various professions & trades are customarily independent contractors available on a per job basis, since they have their own business identity và engage in business for profit on the mở cửa market.

The Department of Labor also looks at what they hotline “economic realities.” The more dependent the worker is on a particular employer for income, the more they lean towards employee status.

Basically, if your workers do the same function for many other businesses, they are likely an independent contractor.

How vày prepare my business for AB-5?

In order khổng lồ avoid fines and keep your business operating as usual, it’s crucial khổng lồ adjust your business for AB5 as soon as possible. Here are 5 things you can vì chưng to best prepare yourself.

1. KEEP UP to lớn DATE

With any new law, changes will likely come after it’s enacted and interpreted by the courts. Because the language of AB5 can be so broad, it could likely see amendments. By reading articles lượt thích this & subscribing to our newsletter below you’ll get the latest updates on AB5 as they become available.


Whether you have a lawyer on gọi or use a service lượt thích LegalZoom, having a lawyer you can talk to is paramount. With AB-5, you’ll want to ask your lawyer if any of your workers could be reclassified under the new law. You may also want to reach out to a payroll specialist, who can vouch to lớn how the law will likely affect you.


While your payroll company should have already reached out to lớn you about AB5 already, you should get in cảm ứng with your paymasters. They can advise you on whether you need to reclassify and, perhaps more importantly, give you an estimate of how much you’ll have to spend on payroll.

If you don’t have a payroll company, you may want to lớn consider taking one on.


There’s no getting around the fact that many workers will have to be re-classified. By planning lớn reclassify your workers as soon as possible, you can figure how much the switch will cost you. You can also reach out to payroll companies, who are more than happy lớn walk you through how much the additional benefits will cost you. Once you do, use a software lượt thích lớn easily classify your workers correctly.


Classify your workers with easy in Watch the demo lớn learn how.

Modern payroll companies, like, employ intuitive software so you can easily run your own payroll for a fraction of the cost of traditional payroll companies.


If you must hire your independent contractors as employees, adjust their work schedules accordingly.

While an independent contractor may cost you a flat fee of $400 a week, a part time employee can cost you the same amount in a few hours when you factor in benefits, paid breaks, & employer taxes.

Wrapping Up

As with most endeavors, it’s often better khổng lồ be safe than sorry.

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While AB-5 may disrupt your business, the upfront cost of switching is a better option compared khổng lồ the potential fines.