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GoT’s All-Seeing Three-Eyed Raven: The Gig Economy in California

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Seyfarth Synopsis: The controversy surrounding AB 5 unveiled a clear need for a new avenue of classifying so-called gig workers to combine the certainty of employee designations with the flexibility of gig jobs. What are the promises of and prospects for a hybrid classification that would provide workers with some employee benefits while also providing workers and companies some of the freedom and efficiencies observed in a gig economy? Can we see what the future will hold? This post explores some possibilities.

In the exceptionally popular Game of Thrones series, the third eye of the indispensable Three-Eyed Raven symbolizes perception beyond ordinary sight, or a third way. This need for future thinking and a third way has become increasingly more important in California when it comes to worker classifications.

By now, everyone knows all about AB 5: its legacy, its controversy, the numerous legislative exceptions it has inspired, the myriad court battles it has provoked, and the responsive initiative that has qualified for the November 2020 ballot. Indeed, not only have we written extensively on the measure, we also have our own tag dedicated exclusively to the issue. So what is the future of the gig economy in California? Is there a workable “third” way of classifying workers in the gig sector. While answering that question requires prescience beyond the mortal ken, we will put on our best “Three-Eyed Raven” hat to foresee some possible roads the future of the gig economy may take.

“I Have Been Many Things. Now, I Am What You See”—Piecemeal Legislative Changes

Many California gig businesses maintain they cannot survive if they must classify their drivers as employees under AB 5. The measure’s author, Lorena Gonzalez, insists the bill is not so bad for business. But if so why, then, are there a variety of stand-alone bills that would provide exemptions for at least 16 different industries?

Is a scattershot approach to legislation really the best solution? And must we choose between (a) dismantling the ABC test and AB 5 and (b) leaving AB 5 in place to require that all gig sector employees be classified as employees? Is there instead a third way—a hybrid classification that would provide the flexibility of the gig economy while ensuring that workers reap at least some benefits of employee status? This elusive third way has been discussed for years, but the controversies over AB 5 controversy may finally force the issue.

Meanwhile, the pandemic and the government’s response thereto—through the CARES Act and otherwise—may have played its own part in forcing the issue. The pandemic left gig workers particularly vulnerable, as independent contractors are normally ineligible for unemployment compensation. But the CARES Act gave them eligibility, limited by prior earnings.

“It Is Beautiful Beneath The Sea. But If You Stay Too Long, You’ll Drown”—Making A Dramatic Change

Drastic legislative changes to the employment marketplace have precedents. Industrial-era jobs were transformed during the Industrial Revolution when labor unions were empowered to negotiate for higher wages, shorter hours, and safer working conditions. Many believed these changes were too radical, but we’ve become accustomed to them. We may have seen a modern analog when the House passed the historic, $3 Trillion HEROES Act, which would make fundamental changes in the workplace.

“Look For Me…Beneath The Tree…North!”—Elusive “Third Way” Of Classifying Workers

So what would a “third classification” look like? One legislative option is SB 1039, authored by Senator Cathleen Galgiani. SB 1039 would “develop a modern policy framework that facilitates independent work for those who voluntarily choose it by creating a third classification of workers with basic rights and protections relative to work opportunities.” The stated rationale is that AB 5 has made it “increasingly obvious that a binary system for classifying workers as either independent contractors or employees is outdated and inapposite of the current reality of the labor market and work opportunities presented in the gig economy and the desire of workers seeking flexible working conditions.”

Despite SB 1039’s stated intentions, its substance has yet to take shape. Those crafting the measure might look to New York’s Freelance Isn’t Free Act, which took effect in May 2017. The Act requires an employment-type contract whenever a freelancer completes $800 worth of work, and provides freelancers with additional monetary remedies if a hiring party tries to avoid paying. The Act establishes a complaint procedure to be administered by the City and provides for a private right of action.

The Act does not, however, provide the employee benefits AB 5 does—such as a minimum wage, workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance, paid sick leave, and paid family leave. To address these concerns, SB 1039 could be amended to include such protections without going so far as pulling gig sector workers out of the IC designation and imposing on companies all the cascading Labor Code burdens that come along with an “employee” designation. For example, an amendment could tie benefits to hours worked, or to certain duties performed, or some combination of both.

“You Will Never Walk Again, But You Will Fly”—The Future Of Work

SB 1399 also refers to Governor Newsom’s Future of Work Commission, established via executive order. Although the pandemic has paused the Commission’s work, the Commission previously explored models to improve access to benefits tied to employment (e.g., paid time off, healthcare, training) for workers who have been excluded from certain benefits. Subjects that the Commission has investigated include portable benefits models and small groups that contribute to a centralized organization that provides access to benefits. Indeed, portable health benefits is one potential solution the Tech sector has suggested to ensure that gig workers have access to medical benefits. Once the Commission returns to work, its progress will be a good barometer for the future of the gig economy in California.

Undoubtedly, gig companies provide services that many consumers want, and many Californians want the flexibility these gig jobs offered prior to enactment of AB 5. In light of these realities, we hope to see the California Legislature find that sweet middle ground that promises some of the benefits of an employee classification while allowing for the flexibility typically associated with gig professions.

“The Time Has Come…Leave Me!”—Workplace Solutions

So what should employers consider, given the uncertain future of gig workers? Employers that use independent contractors must be sufficiently agile to adapt to a new classification—one that could cause additional administrative duties, but one that would also save resources and create efficiencies. With change likely to come, employers should be reviewing their practices regarding independent contractors to ensure they are in line with AB 5 now, and to prepare for legislative change. Just as the Three-Eyed Raven must move from mortal body to mortal body, employers must also be prepared to adapt to a potential third way of classifying workers.

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The Sweetest Gig is Hiring Mitzvah Team ‘Kids Write Chocolate Reviews in Hebrew’

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Join The Mitzvah Team to Taste World's Best Chocolate and Write Creative Reviews in Hebrew at The Sweetest Gig #thesweetestgig #mitzvahteam #hebrew www.TheMitzvahTeam.com

Join The Mitzvah Team to Taste World’s Best Chocolate and Write Creative Reviews in Hebrew at The Sweetest Gig #thesweetestgig #mitzvahteam #hebrew www.TheMitzvahTeam.com

Our High Purpose Kid Love Work Program is a Rewarding Experience Specially Suited for Grateful Professional Working Families that Love Preparing Their Kids to Succeed in Life #thesweetestgig www.TheSweetestGig.com

Our High Purpose Kid Love Work Program is a Rewarding Experience Specially Suited for Grateful Professional Working Families that Love Preparing Their Kids to Succeed in Life #thesweetestgig www.TheSweetestGig.com

The Sweetest Gig Preparing Kids for Life #thesweetestgig #kidslovework #kidsearnperks www.TheSweetestPerk.com

The Sweetest Gig Preparing Kids for Life #thesweetestgig #kidslovework #kidsearnperks www.TheSweetestPerk.com

The Sweetest Gig is a fun meaningful weekend work program teaching kids skills. Kids are hired to taste the world’s best Chocolate and write creative reviews.

Inspire Your Kids to Join The Mitzvah Team…We’re Making Learning Hebrew Fun, and Sweet.”

— Carlos Cymerman, Fun Advocate+Founder, The Sweetest Gig

SANTA MONICA, CA, UNITED STATES, January 19, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — Recruiting for Good (R4G) is a staffing agency helping companies find talented professionals and generating proceeds to fund The Sweetest Gig (preparing kids for life).

On The Sweetest Gig, Middle School kids are hired to taste The World’s Best Chocolate, write creative reviews, and earn fun perks. Kids who join The Mitzvah Team write reviews in Hebrew.

Kids that complete 3 successful reviews between February and April, 2021; earn mom gift (a box of fine chocolate, home delivered for Mother’s Day).

According to Recruiting for Good and The Sweetest Gig, Founder, Carlos Cymerman, “The Sweetest Gig is a mitzvah. We’re preparing kids for life by teaching that anything meaningful, rewarding, and worthwhile; takes time and effort.”

How Parents Help Their Kids Land The Gig

The Sweetest Gig is a high purpose work program for grateful working professional families that make a difference in LA.

One parent needs to be fluent in English; email Sara(at)TheSweetestGig(dot)com to make an appointment and speak with Carlos, the Founder.

Kids attend Middle School in LA and learned Hebrew in the US (Hebrew School or Jewish Day School).

Kids that desire to earn Mother’s Day gift; need to land gig by February 9th, 2021 (hiring just 25 kids).

Carlos Cymerman, adds, “Parents contact me today to help your kids land The Gig….We’re making learning Hebrew; fun, and sweet.”

About

Before launching staffing agency, Recruiting for Good, Founder, Carlos Cymerman worked as a teacher for 10 years during and after college. And Recruiting for Good has been sponsoring creative writing contests for the last 10 years (for adults and kids). In 2014, he created and sponsored a creative writing program at Olympic High School in Santa Monica.

The Sweetest Gig is a rewarding ‘Kid Love Work’ program; especially suited for ‘Grateful Working Professional Families’ that love preparing their kids to succeed in life. Sweet Creative Middle School Kids are hired on weekends to taste The World’s Best Chocolate, write creative reviews, and earn fun perks. The Sweetest Gig is created by Carlos Cymerman, and sponsored by Recruiting for Good. “Kids learn that anything meaningful, rewarding, and worthwhile; takes time, and effort.” www.TheSweetestGig.com

Summer Camp May Not Be Back…The Sweetest Gig Will Be… “Sweet Love Festival.” Fun Creative Summer 2021!

Since 1998, Recruiting for Good has been a purpose driven staffing company. Companies retain our recruiting agency to find talented and value driven professionals who love to use their talent for good in Accounting/Finance, Engineering, Information Technology, Marketing, Operations, and Sales. www.RecruitingforGood.com. R4G is on a fun mission; preparing kids for life to succeed thru ‘The Sweetest Gig,’ fun love work program.

Recruiting for Good Created The Goodie Foodie Club whose purpose is to help fund ‘The Sweetest Gig’ so more kids can learn to love work and prepare for life. Participate in our meaningful Referral Reward Program today to Enjoy The Sweetest Rewards (12 Months of Sushi, or 12 Months The Finest Chocolate Delivered to Mom). www.TheGoodieFoodieClub.com

Carlos Cymerman
Recruiting for Good
+1 310-720-8324
email us here
Visit us on social media:
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn



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Fugro wins Suedlink Section 2 gig – reNews

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Fugro has won a multidisciplinary contract on Germany’s SuedLink renewables powerline, which will transport electricity generated by offshore wind in the north of Germany to the south.

Vossing Engineers awarded Fugro a geotechnical and water consulting contract to support the route planning, permitting and installation of 106 km of underground power cables on Section 2 of Germany’s new Suedlink powerline.

The entire 700 km cable is due to be completed by 2028 and will be the country’s largest energy infrastructure project when completed.

Fugro‘s multidisciplinary consultancy services on the project include site investigation supervision, hydrogeological expertise and environmental support.

Vossing Engineers will then use Fugro’s geo-data acquisition, and ground and environmental risk mitigation advice, to optimise the cable route layout to “reduce costs, accelerate the schedule and ensure the successful implementation” of Section 2.

Vossing project director Wido Schmidt-Heck said: “Vossing’s challenge on Section 2 of the Suedlink project is to combine approximately 150 staff from different companies into one exploration, design and permitting team.

“This consultancy contract with Fugro facilitates that strategic cooperation and we look forward to a successful delivery.”

Fugro project manager Dirk Brinschwitz said: “I am proud to be managing this important energy transition project.

“At Fugro, our knowledge and services are the foundation of the carbon-neutral and safe energy supplies contributing to a safe and liveable world. Our comprehensive consulting package, which allowed Vossing to form a single multidisciplinary team, was a major factor in Fugro winning this contract award.”

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NYC girl lands gig on upcoming PBS Kids show ‘Alma’s Way’

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National Review

Joe Biden’s Pandemic-Relief Bill Is a Mess

At the outset of the pandemic, the government undertook a deliberate effort to reduce economic activity in what was widely thought to be a necessary measure to slow the spread of COVID-19. Whereas most recessions call for policy that stimulates the economy, the COVID-19 recession called for the opposite — measures that would enable workers and businesses to hit pause until a vaccine or therapeutic became widely available. Now that vaccines are being administered, policy-makers face a different challenge — not keeping Americans inside, but getting them back to work as quickly as possible. In this context, President-elect Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package misses the mark. The proposal gives a nod to public health — with $20 billion allocated to vaccine distribution, $50 billion to testing, and $40 billion to medical supplies and emergency-response teams — but fails to address the most pressing hurdles to COVID-19 immunity. Vaccines sit unused not for lack of funding but thanks to burdensome rules determining which patients can receive shots and which doctors can administer them. Additional spending to speed up vaccine distribution is welcome, but its effects will be muted if bureaucratic hurdles remain in place. Even if the public-health provisions were to succeed in reopening the economy, much of the rest of Biden’s plan guarantees that it will reopen weaker. For one, an expanded unemployment-insurance top-up of $400 a week would mean more than 40 percent of those receiving unemployment benefits would make more off-the-job than on-the-job at least until September, and possibly for longer. The food-service and retail industries hit hardest by the pandemic would see the largest shortfalls in labor, exacerbating the challenges they’ve faced over the past year. Enhanced unemployment may have been reasonable when we wanted workers to stay home, but it’s catastrophic when we want them to go back to work. Meanwhile, Biden’s proposed minimum-wage increase to $15 nationally would eliminate an estimated 1.3 million jobs, hitting low-income states hardest. In Mississippi, where the median wage is $15, as many as half the state’s workers would be at risk. A minimum-wage hike may be high on the Democratic wish list, but it does not belong in an emergency-relief bill. The Biden plan isn’t all Democratic priorities, though. He took a page from Trump’s book and proposed $1,400 checks to households, bringing the second-round total to $2,000. With household income now 8 percent above the pre-pandemic trend, additional checks would do little more than pad savings accounts. Indeed, 80 percent of the recipients of last year’s checks put the money into savings or debt payments, not consumption. The flagship item in Biden’s plan would do little to spur economic growth even on Keynesian assumptions. The same goes for state and local aid, for which Biden is seeking $370 billion on top of $170 billion in public-education grants. The total of $540 billion far surpasses the roughly $50 billion hit to state and local tax revenues last year. As we wrote in December, states and cities are slow to spend federal grants, so the lion’s share of this stimulus would not show up until 2023. Rather than attempting to stimulate the economy, Biden is hoping to launder bailouts of profligate Democratic states through COVID-19 relief. Other parts of the bill — expansions of the earned-income and child-tax credits — are defensible long-term structural reforms, but as year-long emergency measures, they will have the same muted effect as direct checks. By including a slew of proposals unrelated to the pandemic, Biden has weakened his hand in negotiations and made it less likely that urgent measures pass quickly. In the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic, economic policy-makers rose to the occasion. Following an unprecedented external shock, the U.S. economy has emerged in relatively good shape, with less unemployment and bankruptcy than most feared. But the policies implemented to curb COVID-19 are not suited for what will begin to become, over the course of this year, a post-pandemic economy. Biden may have campaigned during a recession, but he is taking office during a recovery. He should govern accordingly.

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