Watch new 2020 law #6: Certain gig workers to be treated as employees

Starting Jan. 1, a new California law will require some businesses to re-classify independent contractors as employees — granting them benefits such as overtime pay and the right to join a union.

Businesses and organized labor both heavily lobbied lawmakers over the bill, and while some industries won exemptions, others did not.

The law is projected to change the employment status of 1 million workers, such as truckers, janitors, manicurists and gig economy workers. Throughout the debate, Uber and Lyft drivers received the bulk of the media’s attention since they embodied the fight: Do you want flexibility to work when you please? Or do you want set wages that come with job protections?

Drivers have been — and remain — split on that question as Gov. Gavin Newsom searches for a way to give them both.

Written by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez, of San Diego, the law codifies a California Supreme Court decision, and has already inspired legal challenges to overturn it — including one filed by freelance journalists — and a potential 2020 ballot measure to overturn it — which will be largely funded by ride-hailing services and DoorDash.

In this video, CalMatters’ economy reporter Judy Lin breaks down the new law in one minute.

CalMatters is building a video playlist to explains how various new laws will influence the lives of Californians. You can subscribe to our channel and check out other selections from the playlist below:

Latest in Video

Video

The new Proposition 13: A $15 billion bond for school facilities

Video

Your guide to the 2020 California Primary

New California laws 2020

Video

New Year, new laws: Our video playlist will get you up-to-speed on 11 key 2020 laws in a minute

Pregnant woman's stomach. Photo by Courtney Hale of iStock.com

Video

Watch new 2020 law #11: California takes aim at racial bias in maternal health care

California's rent caps and just cause protections begin on January 1, 2020. This is photo of a flyer explaining the new law. Photo by Anne Wernikoff of CalMatters.

Video

Watch new 2020 law #9: California to cap rent hikes for millions of tenants

Discarded cigarette butts on beach.

Video

Watch new 2020 law #8: California to ban smoking, vaping in state parks and beaches