California just grievously wounded the gig economy.
But Assembly Bill 5, the California bill that was approved by the state Senate on September 10th, is only the beginning of a long fight over the relationship between gig companies like Uber and Lyft and the drivers they employ. While it is likely to become law — it still needs its amendments to pass the Assembly, but once it reaches the desk of Governor Gavin Newsom, he will sign it — the real fight is what comes next.
Uber and Lyft will try to staunch the bleeding by doing what they do best: spending obscene amounts of money. The companies say they will fund a ballot initiative in 2020 to ask voters to approve the creation of a new category for ride-hail drivers. The enforcement of the law will present a range of obstacles for state regulators. And drivers will still face tough hurdles before they can achieve their ultimate goal: the formation of an independent union.