California Teamsters Support Clear Test of Employee Classification
(SAN FRANCISCO) — Dozens of Teamsters from locals throughout Northern California, as well as port drivers from L.A./Long Beach, took part in a lobby day in Sacramento this week to push back on corporate efforts to overturn the state Supreme Court’s landmark Dynamex decision.
The California Chamber of Commerce and companies including Uber, Lyft, Instacart and Postmates, among others, have launched an intense lobbying effort against the Supreme Court of California’s April decision in the case of Dynamex Operations West, Inc. vs. Superior Court of Los Angeles County.
The decision simplified the test for determining whether a worker is classified as an employee for minimum wage and overtime protections. The ruling provides clarity and makes it harder for employers to misclassify their employees as independent contractors.
“This is an effort by the Chamber and tech companies to try to get the governor and legislature to take unprecedented action to overturn a California Supreme Court ruling,” said Doug Bloch, Political Director for Teamsters Joint Council 7. “These are wealthy, global corporations that want political help to get out of paying their employees a livable wage.”
Bloch was joined at the state legislature by Teamster freight and port drivers who met with dozens of legislators to show their support for the Dynamex ruling. Since 2011, more than $46 million has been awarded to port truck drivers in California in cases where they were misclassified as independent contractors.
“We’ve been in this fight for over 30 years. The independent contractor model rose out of the ashes of the deregulated trucking industry, allowing companies to undercut good employers by avoiding Social Security, workers’ compensation, payroll taxes, minimum wage and more. Now many tech companies have taken on this model and they are terrified of a law that will require them to take care of their workers. But they are not above the law,” Bloch said.
Teamsters from Locals 70, 150, 315, 350, 431, 439, 853, 856, 2010, 2785, District Council 2, and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen participated in the lobby day which was organized by the California Labor Federation and the California Building and Construction Trades Council. Teamsters were joined by other organizations including the Fight for $15, Gig Workers Rising, Justice for Port Drivers, the Maintenance and Cooperation Trust Fund, Silicon Valley Rising, and Working Partnerships USA.
Teamsters Joint Council 7 represents 100,000 working men and women in 22 local unions in Northern California, the Central Valley and Northern Nevada.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.