Small Business Buster Bil in CA Senate
A new worker classification bill that would remove your right to decide if you are an independent contractor in California has passed the Assembly and is now in the Senate.
AB 1850 (Gonzalez) has been identified as a Small Business Buster. AB 1850 is a self-employment slayer because it instructs hiring companies to classify you as an employee based on a three-question test set forth by the state. This puts small business like ours at a competitive disadvantage as it will allow hiring companies to control your schedule, how you perform your work and will ultimately squeeze independent contractors out of a job as large companies will hire a small number of employee notaries to conduct all of their signings in any given market.
The negative impacts of AB 1850 will hit independent notary signing agents hard. Although the bill has exemptions from classifying some workers as employees for certain small businesses like real estate appraisers, it does nothing to protect Notary Signing Agents. California consumers depend on our services included under AB 1850 to conduct business in their day to day lives. While larger businesses will be able to use AB 1850 to eliminate competition by bringing notaries in-house, most small businesses will not be able to do so. The burden of complying with this new worker classification law will also be more challenging for small businesses—as they likely have limited resources to reclassify their contractors as employees and shoulder all the new costs involved. Additionally, independent notary signing agents could suffer a loss of customers and revenue due to being reclassified as employees by hiring companies.
Even though AB 1850 targets specific industries, and attempts to protect individual workers, it would make it impossible for small business owners to compete with larger businesses here in California. This loss of free-market competition will ultimately harm California consumers—with less choice and higher prices having a disproportionate impact on working families.
AB 1850 will unquestionably put independent California Notary Signing Agents at a competitive disadvantage. For businesses that purchase our services, this new worker classification rule has no counterpart in the vast majority of other states, and will instantly add another anti-competitive burden with no countervailing competitive benefit. Hiring companies would need to increase prices, reduce expenses—or perhaps relocate—to accommodate this new burden of reclassifying independent contractors as employees. If the new worker classification law is adopted as is, any other state in the country will have a more business-friendly environment than California. California does not need another disincentive for small businesses to stay in California, locate in California, or grow in California.
You Action is Needed
AB 1850 is currently awaiting Senate committee assignment. I am urging all CA Notaries to write your senator and tell them to oppose AB 1850 as a Small Business Buster. You can find your senator here and a form letter that you can customize with your info here.