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The election is a week away and in addition to choosing the next President, there are a number of important initiatives on the ballot including Proposition 22. Often referred to as the “Uber” or “Lyft” initiative given their financial support, this ballot measure will protect the unique work opportunity provided to millions of Californians through the gig economy. We have all seen the “Yes” and “No” commercials for Proposition 22, but here is what I know from my own personal experience in working on AB 5 when it was pending in the Legislature.

Maintaining Independent Contractor Status is the Only Way to Maintain Flexibility

One of the key differences between employees versus independent contractors is flexibility. While the “NO” side on Proposition 22 often claim there is no law that limits an employer’s ability to provide an employee similar flexibility, it just isn’t reality. A driver in the gig economy can literally choose to log on and off the platform whenever they want. Can you imagine if an employer said the same thing to all of its employees — just show up and stay for however long you feel like it? How would a coffee shop ensure that an employee was there at 4:00 a.m. to open the shop and make coffee for customers? How would a restaurant ensure that enough cooks were available to make all of the customer orders? It wouldn’t. And, while there is no state law in California prohibiting an employer from allowing employees to pick and choose when they show up to work, there are a number of laws that financially penalize an employer for employees who don’t work their full shift, employees who work two split shifts, employees who work too long, employees who work too many days, and even some localities penalize employers for not providing two weeks’ notice of an employee’s actual schedule.

Proposition 22 Provides Workers in the Gig Economy With a List of New Benefits

If Proposition 22 is successful, workers in the gig economy will be entitled to a list of new benefits including a minimum earnings guarantee that is 120 percent of the minimum wage, mileage reimbursement, a monthly healthcare subsidy, insurance to cover any injuries suffered while performing services, and protection against discrimination or harassment. While several of these benefits are the same as benefits received by an employee, a worker in the gig economy gets all of these benefits and still gets to maintain flexibility over their own schedule. Notably, employees are guaranteed no less than minimum wage, not 120 percent of the minimum wage and there is no requirement that an employee receive a monthly healthcare subsidy.

When working on AB 5 while it was pending in the Legislature, I recall talking with one driver who was a single mom with four children. She had limited time to work. Driving in the gig economy provided her the opportunity to earn money while her kids were at school and then at night while they were sleeping. I met another driver who was an older man who drove to earn extra income to supplement his pension so that he could afford to travel. He would work a few hours a week for several months, take off to go travel, and then come back and do it again. These two examples demonstrate the opportunity the gig economy provides for a diverse group of Californians with different needs that simply do not fit within the traditional notion of employment.

California needs to protect these work opportunities.

Jennifer Barrera, Executive Vice President, CalChamber

CalChamber members can read more about Independent Contractors in the HR Library. Not a member? See how CalChamber can help you.

The post Proposition 22 Supports California’s Economic Diversity appeared first on HRWatchdog by HRWatchdog.

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The general election is Tuesday, November 3, 2020, and employers should double check a few important things right now — like making sure they’ve correctly posted California’s voting leave requirements notice and understanding what voting leave they are required to allow, even if their workforces remain largely remote.

Because employers must display a poster describing voting leave requirements at least 10 days before every statewide election, yours should have been up as of Friday, October 23. Thankfully, if you have one of CalChamber’s convenient all-in-one California and Federal Employment Notices Poster, it contains all required California and Federal notices including the Time Off to Vote notice.

On election day, some employees may not have sufficient time outside of their working hours to vote, even though California polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. The employee may take up to two hours of working time to vote without loss of pay. If employees need more than two hours to vote, they can take it — but only two hours of that time is paid. You cannot require that employees use their accrued vacation or paid time off. ​

The time off must be taken at the beginning or end of the regular working shift, whichever gives the employee the most free time for voting and the least time off from working. You and the employee may mutually agree to a different part of the working shift when the time off can be taken. The employee must notify you at least two working days in advance to arrange a voting time.

However, as previously reported, California’s Voter’s Choice Act allows approximately one month in which to cast a ballot, either by mail or at multiple ballot drop boxes, making it extremely difficult for an employee to justify that they don’t have time outside of working hours to cast a vote.  

Since California voters should have already received their vote-by-mail ballot and may mail or drop-off their ballot between now and November 3, it’s very unlikely that employers will need to allow voting leave on November 3 — but if they do get a request, it’s important that they understand their obligations. Employers with questions regarding this leave should consult legal counsel.

Katie Culliton, Editor, CalChamber

CalChamber members can read more about Voting Leave in the HR Library. Not a member? See what CalChamber can do for you.

The post Employer-Required Time Off to Vote Notices, Voting Leave During COVID-19 appeared first on HRWatchdog by Katie Culliton.

New Starts Pick Up Pace
ASA Staffing Index Monthly Report, October 2020
Staffing employment for the week of Oct. 12–18 expanded 2.0% from the prior week, increasing to a rounded value of 85, according to the ASA Staffing Index. This week marks the largest week-to-week increase for the comparative week since the inception of the index in 2006. Staffing jobs were down 12.5% from the same week last year, further narrowing the year-to-year gap after six months of nearly uninterrupted growth following a historical low in April.

New starts were up for the fifth consecutive week, increasing 5.8% on average, with half (48%) of staffing companies reporting gains in new assignments week-to-week.

“The number of temporary jobs in the U.S. continues to rise, solidifying an upward trend toward recovery,” said Cynthia Davidson, ASA senior director of research. “The coming weeks will be very influential in shaping the next phase of regaining stability for staffing employment.”

The ASA Staffing Index four-week moving average grew to a rounded value of 83. Temporary and contract staffing employment for the four weeks ending Oct. 18 was 14.7% lower than the same period in 2019.

This week, containing the 12th day of the month, will be used in the October monthly employment situation report scheduled to be issued by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Nov. 6.

The ASA Staffing Index is reported nine days after each workweek, making it a near real-time measure of staffing employment trends. ASA Staffing Starts are the number of temporary and contract employees placed in new assignments during the reporting week. ASA research shows that staffing employment has historically been a coincident economic indicator.

For more information, visit americanstaffing.net/index. Or follow ASA research on Twitter.

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About the American Staffing Association

The American Staffing Association is the voice of the U.S. staffing, recruiting, and workforce solutions industry. ASA and its state affiliates advance the interests of the industry across all sectors through advocacy, research, education, and the promotion of high standards of legal, ethical, and professional practices. For more information about ASA, visit americanstaffing.net.

The post Staffing Jobs on the Rise in October appeared first on American Staffing Association.

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