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San Francisco Bay Area Immigration Blog

Camiel Becker Interviewed on Univision KDTV About How California Bill AB5 Will Impact the Immigrant Community

Founding partner Camiel Becker was interviewed by Univision KDTV about the unintended immigration consequences of the newly passed California bill AB 5. Becker explained that although converting gig workers to “employees” under state law will generally help workers, it may also adversely impact undocumented workers. Currently, any independent contractor – including immigrants without work authorization – needs to provide a Social Security number and undergo a background check to drive for Lyft and Uber but they do not need to provide evidence of work authorization.  If ride-sharing companies are forced to categorize their drivers as “employees,” employers will need to require proof of valid work authorization in order for their drivers to continue driving. It is unknown how many Lyft / Uber drivers are driving without work authorization, since employers aren’t required to track such information for independent contractors. If California law requires ride-sharing companies to categorize their drivers as “employees,” any drivers without work authorization would lose their jobs. If the number of drivers without employment authorization is large enough, the cost of rides would likely increase since the number of drivers available on the applications would decrease.