Best Hire Ever: California Has No Love for Gig Workers (featuring Phil North & John Hollon)

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Aug 31, 2020
This article is part of a series called Podcasts.

In Episode 12 of Best Hire Ever, Kris Dunn chats with with Phil North (VP of People at Handled) and John Hollon (managing editor at Fuel 50, senior writer at Fistful of Talent, and former TLNT editor) about AB-5 and Prop 22, battling laws, and upcoming votes on the classification of contractors in California. They also discuss their impact on hot gig economy apps like Uber and Lyft and the potential spread of similar employment laws across the United States.

This is one of the best breakdowns you’ll find of what’s going on, so check the timestamps for what interests you most below and get in the know!

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Show Highlights:

2:09   – John Hollon provides the best breakdown you’ll find of AB5 (Assembly Bill 5) in California (passed Jan 1 this year). John breaks down the 3-point test related to what constitutes an employee or contractor in California (while KD interjects and does commentary), talks about the sponsors of the bill and the broad impact to the gig economy.

12:00 – Phil North (HR leader at Handled) talks about being a VP of people and the impact of AB5 building a W2/1099 workforce in California and beyond. He talks about his experience learning the gig economy by becoming an Uber driver and how his company navigated AB5 to do business in California. KD and Phil talk about how HR leaders can get costs down in this environment via technology and moving to viewing employment on a fractional basis.

24:00 – John, who lives in California, talks about Proposition 22 (on the ballot in November and funded by $100M in Uber and Lyft money), which looks to prevent drivers from being classified as employees but does nothing to help other professions covered by AB5. He talks about the 30 lawsuits currently pending in California, the reaction of Uber and Lyft to the bill, as well as pre-emptive strikes by a host of other states to make sure AB5 can’t spread to their workforces.

29:36 – The team talks about how companies and some prominent business leaders are leaving California as a result of items like AB5. KD also talks about how his son automatically got the impact of AB5 on a host of gig economy apps after a brief conversation.

40:00 – Phil does his best Gary V and says that regardless of the outcome of Prop 22 and potential spread of AB5 type of stuff, business leaders will find a way. KD agrees and John shares the opinion that cooler heads will prevail, but it’s complicated given the other challenges in California.

This article is part of a series called Podcasts.
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