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California Asked to Give Gig Workers Covid-19 Jobless Benefits

March 19, 2020, 2:11 PM

The chief backer of California’s worker classification law wants to make sure gig workers are still paid when their hours dwindle due to the novel coronavirus.

Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (D) sent a letter to the state’s Employment Development Department on Wednesday asking the agency to provide unemployment insurance to workers misclassified as independent contractors. She cited the new law, A.B. 5, designed to make it harder for companies to treat gig and other workers as self-employed entrepreneurs.

“The economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic will be severe and far-reaching, and EDD is on the front lines of combating economic ...