The vast majority of California’s independent contractors are still covered by the ABC test

Passage of AB 2257 caused only minor changes in coverage of the ABC test under AB 5

Under California’s AB 5, workers are assumed to be employees unless the work performed a) is under the worker’s control and not that of the business, b) is not part of the company’s core business, and c) is part of the worker’s independent profession. However, the law did specifically exclude some job categories from the ABC test; other occupations may be excluded from the ABC test if certain strict conditions apply. In September 2020, Governor Newsom signed into law ab 2257 which revised the provisions of AB 5 by adding additional occupations to the list of those excluded, or potentially excluded, from the ABC test.

In this brief, we update our previous analysis of AB 5 using occupational employment data for California in order to estimate the percentage of independent contractors whose jobs are subject to the ABC test under AB 2257, the percentage whose jobs are subject to the ABC test except when strict conditions are met, and the percentage whose jobs are excluded from the ABC test entirely (and are subject to the Borello test instead). As explained below, our analysis is restricted to workers who are independent contractors at their main job. We find that after the revisions in AB 2257, the overwhelming majority of these workers are still in occupations covered by the ABC test and another large share are potentially covered by the ABC test. The small number of occupations where the ABC test does not apply are typically high paying.


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