Western Electrical Contractors Association, Inc.

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Thursday, March 07, 2019

DYNAMEX - The gift that keeps on giving At a recent informational hearing, business owners and labor leaders could agree on one thing - the California Supreme Court's decision in the Dynamex case will affect California workers - but that was all they agreed upon. The Assembly Labor and Employment Committee examined the decision - issued last April by the California Supreme Court - that changed the test to determine whether an individual is an employee or independent contractor. Many business leaders, small business owners, and independent contractors expressed the need for the Legislature to intervene and modernize state labor laws. The pleas fell mainly on deaf ears of the committee members present.
 
Assembly Member Ash Kalra (D-San Jose), Chair of the Committee, stacked the panels of witnesses with left of center academics, and labor lobbyists. They argued the case will either have limited application beyond those making at or close to minimum wage or alternately, will be a "game-changing" realignment that will end the "race to the bottom" and guarantee a path to the middle class for all independent contractors - who will be made employees - whether they want to be or not. Kalra observed, "Worker misclassification is a significant and ongoing issue with real economic consequences for every day working people." That echoes Gov. Gavin Newsom's State of the State call for a "new modern compact for California's changing workforce" that's "much bigger than Dynamex."
 
Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), former head of the San Diego Labor Federation and author of Assembly Bill 5 (which would codify and expand the court's decision), made it clear that her goal was to not only reduce (or eliminate) independent contracting in California, but to also give access to more union organizing of these new employees.
 
A representative of the California Hospital Association pointed out that contrary to the suggestion that Dynamex only applied to low-wage workers subject to California Wage Orders, a hospital emergency room doctor had already sued his physicians group - as well as the hospital that employed the physicians group - to staff the emergency room as joint employers. (Note: in general, hospitals are prohibited from employing physicians directly).
 
The hearing took no action and was just an opportunity to stake out the issues. It seems that labor, and their Democratic benefactors, have no interest in rolling back the court's decision.
 
Who Should Install Energy Storage Systems? Perform a Google search for the terms 'IBEW' and 'solar' and it becomes clear that IBEW wants to dominate the solar marketplace. They have successfully used project labor agreements (PLAs) and greenmail to control many new large-scale projects, and now appear to be using their political power to go after another target - C46 solar contractors. IBEW and NECA are asking the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) to rule that only a C10 licensed contractor is qualified and allowed under existing law to install the energy storage systems that are commonplace in photovoltaic system (PV) installations.
Should C10 contractors be the only CSLB approved contractors to install ESSs?

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