HR News: California Bill May Damage Gig Economy

California May Deal Blow to Gig Economy_adult-auto-automobile

The gig economy has been growing in recent years and there is no end in sight.  More and more people are taking advantage of opportunities to contract independently with other companies.  For some, it's about supplementing their income while others use it as their primary source of income.  Just take a look at these statistics.

  1. 90% of Americans are open to freelancing, consulting or independent contracting work.
  2. 52% of the U.S. adult workforce will be working or have worked as an independent contributor over the next 5 years.
  3. 63% of full-time executives would become an independent contractor given the opportunity.
Source:  iOffice

In California, however, the gig economy may be dealt some real damage if a piece of legislation is signed into law by the governor.  Also making HR News headlines this week:

  • Southwest Airlines is teaching employees how to help stop human trafficking
  • Raymond James Financial has named a new chief human resources officer

HR News

Attack on Gig Economy in California?

A new piece of legislation making its way through California’s state legislature could force companies like Uber and Lyft to treat all contractors like employees.  If it becomes law, it will deal a considerable blow to the way the gig economy functions in The Golden State.  The bill has already passed the state senate and has gone to the state assembly for consideration.  According to Inc., Governor Gavin Newsom has indicated he will sign the bill if and when it reaches his desk. 

REPORT:  The Future of Work and HR

The law aims to dispute a ruling by the National Labor Relations Board, which found earlier this year drivers for the two companies were contractors.  The reasoning behind the ruling is drivers use their own vehicles, set their own schedule, and can work for competitors among other things.  California’s law would essentially codify that because the drivers perform a function central to Uber and Lyft’s business that they are indeed employees and not independent contractors. 

The law could also impact other contract-based industries, according to the article, such as hairdressers, nail salons and franchise owners.

Southwest Airlines Training Employees to Combat Human Trafficking

Southwest Airlines says it is training all 59,000 of its employees to spot and stop human trafficking.  The airline company is partnering with Polaris to develop and push out the training to workers.  Southwest Airlines University vice president Elizabeth Bryant told HR Dive the company has worked with Polaris for a few years now on other initiatives and this seemed like another opportunity to continue that partnership.


Courtesy:  Southwest Airlines

"They provided all of the information our training department needed to design a curriculum tailored to our Southwest Airlines Employees. Once we received the information from Polaris, the creation of the program took just over a month."

According to the article, employees are able to complete a series of online modules.  Once completed employees should be able to “better understand what human trafficking is, be able to identify instances of it and be prepared to take action if necessary.”

Want to know more about Southwest Airlines University? Read our interview with Elizabeth Bryant here.

Raymond James Announces New CHRO

Courtesy:  Raymond James

Chris Aisenbrey will be the new chief human resources officer for Raymond James Financial.  Chairman and CEO Paul Reilly made the announcement.  Aisenbrey is currently the senior vice president of organization and talent development.  He starts in his new role effective October 1 according to a company press release.

“In addition to a broad range of human resources experience at Fortune 500 companies prior to joining the firm, in his nearly five years at Raymond James, Chris has had a meaningful impact – most notably in talent development and diversity and inclusion,” said Reilly. “I’m confident he’ll continue to support the strategic direction of the firm in this expanded role.”

Some of the companies where Aisenbrey has previously worked include The Coca Cola Company, the International Bottling Investments Group and the Whirlpool Corporation.

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