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AB 5 is Such a Disaster in California, Pelosi and Congressional Democrats Push National Law to Destroy Gig Economy



Because California’s AB 5 by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez hasn’t done enough damage already to independent contractors and freelance workers in hundreds of different industries, Congressional Democrats and Speaker Nancy Pelosi are championing their own national version:  The Protecting the Right to Organize Act or PROAct, on behalf of the AFL-CIO.

Following the State of the Union, Pelosi announced Wednesday on Twitter: “The most important table in America is the kitchen table. Tomorrow, we will pass the #PROAct to protect Americans’ rights to join a union and raise the purchasing power of families across America. #ForThePeople.

Assembly Bill 5 by former labor leader Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), has already significantly limited Californians’ ability to work as independent contractors and freelancers. It was revealed during Senate debate in September that the AFL-CIO wrote AB 5.

Assemblywoman Gonzalez said in December, “These were never good jobs,” referring to freelance journalists, as justification for AB 5.

California freelance journalists are losing jobs en masse because AB 5 also randomly limits freelance writers and photographers to 35 submissions annually per media outlet. Members of the entertainment industry are seeing jobs cancelled in droves. And even ADA protected industries such as court reporters, captioners, and sign language interpreters, a majority of whom prefer the independence and flexibility of deciding when and where to work, are seeing their ability to work as independent contractors and freelancers in jeopardy, as California Globe reported.

The law, signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, broadly codified the newest definition of an employee, established in 2018 in the California Supreme Court’s decision in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles, which dealt a blow to independent contractors. The Court ruled that the Dynamex delivery drivers were employees, rejecting its own prior test for determining whether workers should be classified as either employees or independent contractors,” Forbes reported.

According to many legal analysts, what the Court did was legislate from the bench by adopting a new rule for the narrow purpose of interpreting California’s Industrial Welfare Commission’s wage orders.

New York Democrats are trying to adopt their own version as well.

As California Globe reported recently, there are 56.7 million freelance workers currently enjoying life as independent contractors in America.

Assemblywoman Gonzalez and California’s Democrat lawmakers claim to care about workers, but only if they agree to unionize. They claim that the rideshare and app-based gig workers are being exploited by Uber, Lyft, Doordash and other app based businesses.

And despite AB 5 going through the legislative committee process, and hundreds of gig workers, business owners and independent contractors warning lawmakers that the bill would destroy many more jobs than just the gig economy app based businesses, they passed the law anyway.

Editorial boards throughout the state, including the Orange County RegisterSan Diego Union-TribuneSacramento Bee, and San Jose Mercury News said AB 5 would endanger the newspaper industry.

Gonzalez was warned AB 5 could destroy California’s entire Gig economy if passed and signed into law.

“In fact, 66 percent of Uber and Lyft drivers would prefer to remain independent contractors,” the Federalist reported. “The truth that lawmakers don’t want to admit is that gig workers willingly trade certain benefits for what they see as better benefits, and that the nature of work has moved away from the union model, and it’s not going back. Freelancers are de facto small business owners who run themselves as a company.”

Exemptions From AB 5 and Possible Fixes

In January, California Globe reported “The Superior Court of California in Los Angeles ruled earlier this week that independent truckers are exempt from AB 5.”

A new bill has been proposed to exempt freelance journalists from the independent contractor redefining AB 5 law in the California Senate. Senate Bill 868, authored by Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel), would also end the post AB 5 rule of limiting freelance journalists to 35 articles a year per publication.

A federal lawsuit by two drivers and Uber and Postmates seeks declaratory, injunctive, and other relief to determine that AB 5 is unconstitutional. Their lawsuit claims AB 5 violates the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, the Ninth Amendment to the United States Constitution, and the Contracts Clause of Article I of the United States Constitution, as well as the Equal Protection Clause, Inalienable Rights Clause, Due Process Clause, Baby Ninth Amendment, and Contracts Clause of the California Constitution.

The PRO Act, H.R. 2474, would preempt state labor laws, overrule three Supreme Court decisions, and transform the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) into a punitive one. The PRO Act would:

  • Require workers to pay dues to a union
  • Change the definition of joint employment in order to ease union organizing;
  • Amend the definition of employee to increase the pool of employees eligible for unionization;
  • Impose government-mandated arbitration to dictate employment terms in first negotiations
  • Promote card-check organizing, a process that forces union representation on workers without a secret-ballot election.

With the many state and federal legal challenges to AB 5, for Pelosi and House Democrats to carry the water for the AFL-CIO on a national level, willing to kill 56 million freelance and independent contractor jobs, does not bode well in an election year.

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The Rise of the Gig Economy and How You Can Profit From It—International Living




The “New” Retirement: The Rise of the Gig Economy and How You Can Profit From It

The “New” Retirement: The Rise of the Gig Economy and How You Can Profit From It

You can control your free time in a way that’s almost impossible to do in a 9-to-5 world where you ‘work for the man.’

In an era when so few people believe they’ll be able to retire comfortably (or at all)—and the statistics bear that out—author Winton Churchill argues in his just-released book, The “New” Retirement: The Rise of the Gig Economy and How You Can Profit From It, that retirees can, in fact, wield more control over their situations than most realize.

“Lots of people believe they will simply have to take the retirement the world hands them (if they get one at all). But that’s nonsense,” says Churchill. “Baby boomers and GenXers have more online earning options right now than most realize.

“Most people point to what they’ve done in their careers as what they ‘know how to do.’” Churchill argues. “But that’s a myopic way to look at a skillset. In truth, people have more abilities, knowledge, experience, and wisdom than they realize.

“By earning a few hours a day (or a week) on your own terms—doing something you already know how to do, from the comfort of your home—you could fund a retirement that allows you to live ‘life first.’”

Churchill argues in his book that retirees—with the technology available today—can use those strengths to earn a side income freelancing online from home and fund a comfortable, portable lifestyle that includes more fun than they ever thought possible.

From a retired teacher offering proofreading services to a retired receptionist answering phones remotely a few hours a day to a retired attorney giving business advice…the book is full of stories that show the varied ways people have taken what they know how to do and turned it into portable online income in retirement.

And older folks, Churchill argues, actually have an advantage earning as freelancers on the many job-and-project platforms available online today—platforms like Upwork, VIPKid, Cambly, or Arise, for instance.

“Boomers are seasoned,” he explains. “They come to freelancing after a lifetime of earning in other ways. They have practice completing work on time and meeting project goals. They communicate effectively in both writing and speaking. They have a depth of knowledge—and life experience—that they can bring to their subject areas. These attributes make them valuable freelancers.”

In The “New” Retirement: The Rise of the Gig Economy and How You Can Profit From It, Churchill introduces the reader to the world of freelance opportunities online, explains how to identify skills that are marketable, breaks down the keys to getting started fast, and explores the insider tricks for turning one-off assignments into regular, lucrative gigs.

What’s more, the book is packed with useful resources and guidance for getting the most out of a portable income—and teaches readers the best ways to design a portable life, which can provide the freedom and flexibility to travel (and even live) abroad for extended periods.

“When you earn like this, you’re better able to blend and prioritize your interests, your family, and your passions,” Churchill says. “You can control your free time in a way that’s almost impossible to do in a 9-to-5 world where you ‘work for the man.’

Inside The “New” Retirement: The Rise of the Gig Economy and How You Can Profit From It, readers will discover—

  • 22 questions to answer that’ll expose the income-earning skills a reader has, but may not realize are monetizable and available to them.
  • 23 one-click online resources most people have never heard of where, at the simple click of a mouse, they can source paying clients looking to pay people to do all sorts of things.
  • 4 essential apps that make a portable income simple to manage—so freelancers always have what they need at their fingertips, it’s a cinch to keep track of projects, and it’s possible to earn from anywhere—no high-tech skills required.
  • 3 “portable-income enablers”—free tools to parlay a go-anywhere income into a go-anywhere life and earn with ease on the road.
  • The vacation-rental strategy that makes it easier to book the right place at the right price—with special consideration for older travelers.
  • 8 cool, free resources that connect freelancers around the world.
  • Revealing, real-world examples that show readers exactly how a bunch of people from different backgrounds took their “careers” and translated their skills and experiences online.
  • How (specifically and truly step-by-step) it’s possible to find clients today.

More information on The “New” Retirement: The Rise of the Gig Economy and How You Can Profit From It, including a Q&A with the author, can be found: The “New” Retirement: The Rise of the Gig Economy and How You Can Profit From It

Author Winton Churchill is the founder of the Churchill Method, an international training and consulting company. His firm helps clients find ways to put their skills, services, products, and career experience on the global market by tapping into the 30% to 70% of opportunity most U.S.-only and Canada-only businesses and individuals leave on the table.

“By taking charge of their earning power, rather than waiting for governments, financial institutions, and employers to ‘right themselves,’ the baby boomer generation now has the power and access to put their skills and abilities on the global market regardless of where they live or work,” says Winton.

In addition to consulting, Winton has written and lectured on a broad range of career and internet sales and marketing topics. His opinions are frequently quoted in a variety of publications including The Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur Magazine, Marketing Sherpa, Inc. Magazine, SoftwareCEO, Sales & Marketing Management, Fox News, and a number of industry-related business, internet, and software-related publications. He is the author of the bestselling book Email Marketing for Complex Sales Cycles (Morgan James Publishing).

Prior to the founding of his own firm, Winton has been involved in a variety of senior sales, marketing, and management roles for Apple Computer, Oracle Corporation, Spinnaker, Contact Software (ACT!), and Sun Microsystems.

Winton is past President of the South Bay Association of Chambers of Commerce. The SBACC serves 18 Chambers and more than 53,000 businesses in coastal Southern California. In 2007, Winton made Huatulco, Mexico his primary residence and divides his time between Huatulco and San Miguel de Allende.

Members of the media have permission to republish the article linked above once credit is given to

Further information, as well as interviews with Winton Churchill for radio, TV or print, is available on request. Photos are also available.

For information about content republishing, source material or to book an interview with one of our experts, contact PR Managing Editor, Marita Kelly, +001 667 312 3532,

Twitter: @inliving


About International Living

Since 1979, has been the leading authority for anyone looking for global retirement or relocation opportunities. Through its monthly magazine and related e-letters, extensive website, podcasts, online bookstore, and events held around the world, provides information and services to help its readers live better, travel farther, have more fun, save more money, and find better business opportunities when they expand their world beyond their own shores. has contributors traveling the globe, investigating the best opportunities for travel, retirement, real estate, and investment.

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Gig Economy Drivers Are Fueling a US Gasoline Demand Rebound




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Gig-economy deliveries for groceries, alcohol and other goods look to be driving a nascent recovery in U.S. gasoline demand after the lowest plunge in almost 30 years.

Americans’ embrace of those services in the COVID-19 lockdowns may be permanent, experts say, and many consumers may never return to buying their own groceries in a store. That also signals an emerging challenge for fuel markets.

“What you have is the shift of gasoline demand from one household to another,” David Bishop, an e-commerce expert at Brick Meets Click said on a Bloomberg Intelligence webinar.

Gasoline demand plummeted with the onset of COVID-19.

The resulting surge in the use of services such as Instacart Inc. is increasingly influencing gasoline consumption in ways that will have a lasting impact. Online grocery orders climbed to 62.5 million in April, a 33% increase over March, according to research firm Brick Meets Click. Orders almost tripled in March compared to August when the firm last collected the data.

It’s more difficult to determine if the uptick in deliveries will be a long-term positive or negative on fuel consumption. It could be unchanged, with every trip to the grocery store being replaced by one trip for a delivery driver, and demand staying flat. Or drivers could double or triple deliveries for every pickup at the store, trimming demand. A third scenario could see families using delivery services, freeing up more time to hit the road for other reasons, and therefore, increasing demand.

South Florida grocery driver Jorge Alexander Ortiz, 43, said he doubles, and sometimes triples, up on orders for one stop at the grocery store. He spends about $10 a day on fuel and seeks out places where he can save money at the pump.

“That’s why I’m spending a lot more on gas, because I have to travel back and forth to see where I’m going to find [orders],” Ortiz said.

​Once factors beyond food shopping are considered, declines in demand are probably ahead, IHS Markit refined products analyst and former Valero analyst Debnil Chowdhury said.

“Longer term, we expect to see demand declines due to increased fuel efficiency and structural shifts in consumer behavior, due to the disease impacting vehicle miles traveled, such as increased working from home, less eating out, less in-person social events, and more grocery deliveries,” Chowdhury said.

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This SaaS startup matches gig workers with corporates, making hiring easier for HR




As we have witnessed in the past, an economic downturn caused by a major event or otherwise can be hard on individuals. With pay-cuts and job losses, people struggle to make ends meet. In such unprecedented times, finding the right job is crucial, and most individuals depend on referrals and job portals to find a position that suits them best.

However, what if there is a platform that can help companies to identify the right talent for the job by outsourcing its technical interviews, and also help freelancers by giving them a push into the gig economy?

Bengaluru startup FloCareer helps with this by bridging the gap between employers and employees. Established in early 2016, co-founders Mehul Bhatt and Mohit Jain are helping in bringing the job community together.

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Friends and neighboursMehul and Mohit used to work in the IT sector for over 15 years before they decided to start-up. The seeds for the startup germinated from their casual conversations about bringing the corporate and the gig economy together.

“Our dream is to create FloCareeras a platform that connects a community of job aspirants, skill assessors, and job creators,” says Mehul Bhatt, Co-founder, FloCareer.

The works

FloCareer offers Interviews-as-a-Service, remote hiring, automated BOT-based systems, and applicant tracking systems to its clientele. It has experts that help screen potential candidates for a particular job. However, this is where FloCareer differentiates itself. The startup’s platform enables corporate teams to focus on their core deliverables such as team development, rather than screening individuals.

When a company gives a requirement to FloCareer, the startup brings its experts to review candidates and then conducts video interviews. Once the first screening is over, the platform automates the scheduling of interviews with the right people in the company that wants to hire the talent.

FloCareer ensures that the applicants on its platform are regularly tracked, and eventually placed. It also claims to provide 100 percent transparency to its customers – starting from the selection process to the final placement.

“Most of the interviews we do are in Information Technology and Computer Science domain, as of today,” says Mohit, Co-founder, FloCareer.

The Bengaluru-headquartered startup currently has over 700 handpicked freelance interviewers who take technical rounds of interviews on behalf of the hiring company, using its SaaS-based video interview platform, which is part of the FloCareer stack. In the last 18 months, it has conducted over 25,000 interviews.

The founders believe that there are two key reasons why HRs should opt and continue to use FloCareer’s Interview-as-a-Service solutions – one, it offers a cost-saving service, and second, it provides a faster hiring process.

“Our initial set of clients were majorly startups where, either they did not have technical people to interview, or they didn’t have time to interview. Our first major client was Wipro Digital which we got through a cold email campaign. The vendor onboarding and payment were long, but it was all the worth since we have matured our product with them,” Mehul says.

FloCareer, which operates on a subscription-based business model, declined to reveal its revenue and pricing numbers. However, it had raised around Rs 3 crore through an angel round in 2018 from an undisclosed set of investors, the co-founders say.

Challenges and future plans

Detailing the challenges FloCareer faces, the co-founders say that the startup spends a considerable amount of time to convince the HROs the need to outsource the interviews and reduce their hiring time. They also have to explain to them that FloCareer is a tech-based startup that matches the specific needs of the clients by having the right talent outsourced.

“We basically work on the profiles provided by clients which include eliminating fake CVs, scheduling the interview (video interview), and providing feedback to the clients. This way, the HRs can straight away hire the candidate by reducing their time, as well as money spent on interviews. Our model for clients is a subscription-based and per interview, which is levied as per the number of interviews conducted,” says Mohit.

In the next 18 months, the startup plans to strengthen its clientele base in IT/ITES, financial/banking, and healthcare sectors in countries like the US, the UK, Australia, the Middle East, and the APAC region.

So far, it has helped companies and startups like Wipro, CRISIL, CitiusTech, Tencent, Rapido, Vision Net, ANSR, BYJU’s, Bigbasket, CSS Corp, and Happiest Minds, in finding the right candidate suitable for various jobs.

“Over time, we are planning to extend our B2C services, and hope we get into it down the line soon,” Mohit adds.

Moving forward, by the end of 2020, it is aiming to conduct 6,000+ interviews per month. At present, it competes with the likes of Talview, a US-based recruitment platform.

“Our value proposition is technology-driven interviews, enabling accelerated hiring for HR and distraction-free teams that help ramp-up the hiring,” Mehul concludes.

(Edited by Suman Singh)

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