Michael Lodge, NCPM, CRTP - Back in 2019 a California State Assembly woman by the name of Lorena Gonzalez created a bill that affected millions of independent contractors working in California. Her bill was directed at Uber to make all their drivers W-2 employees, but it also changed the working relationships with many other people in various industries. It affected the healthcare industry, entertainment subcontractors working as writers and producers on movie production, and other individuals who have small business in their home and working part time for various companies. It killed those trying to start a small business. It did so much damage that individuals started to say "to hell" with California and began leaving the state of California.
Now labor leaders and Democrats loved the law. It brought in more tax revenues to the state. Killing off an independent business did not mean anything to them because they smelled tax money and more labor laws to control employers. I fought this bill, even after it was passed to kill this bill. Some big companies went after the bill and there were compromises made in the courts and in the State Assembly. However, the big companies were able to get their concessions, but the small guy was left out to die. Democrats wanted that tax money, and they would do anything to get it. Even the Republicans in the Assembly did not fight hard, only two of them stood up to create change, the rest of the Republicans just sat there and took it. It was a sad thing to see as independent contractors were under attack.
There is a difference from a company becoming political and bringing in a political agenda to create conflict, compared to a company fighting against a bill in any state Assembly or Senate that hurts businesses. AB5 was an unbelievably bad bill, and the state democrats knew it was and yet pushed it through to become law. It created such a stir that many people in California tried to get the Assembly to reverse course. But organized labor and far left politicians did not care what happened to business. Gonzalez even went on the attack with Elon Musk, which drove him out of the state of California and move everything to a business-friendly state of Texas. Many of us moved out of the State because we saw an abusive legislature and dirty rotten politics that did not care about the people of California.
The problem with big business in California (Yahoo, Twitter, Apple and other) have adopted a political agenda and it has also created conflict not just in their company but with their customers. Politics is an evil entity, it is corrupt in every way, and when businesses become political, they have become unethical. Politics always creates conflicts and should never ever be allowed into a business. There are people working for these companies that do not go along with their chosen politics, there are stockholders that are not happy, and then there are customers who are not happy and boycott politically driven companies. Good example is Coca Cola coming out against the voter laws in Georgia, they had to back off because the laws were not what Coca Cola said they were. It hurt their business and sales dropped significantly. Politics drives unethical behavior of CEOs who think they are making a difference by getting involved but instead create conflict. Conflict in a company is awfully expensive
There are times when companies do have to stand up against bad legislation that will harm their business, contractors, and even their tax situations. Bad laws must be fought against. Business owners must monitor what is happening in their state legislatures and at the federal level. Bad law in attached to laws not even associated with what they want passed. A good example, a few years ago a transportation bill was passed in Congress and the Senate, but deep in the law was a tax bill that said if you had $10,000 in a foreign bank account, or even a signer on the account, you had to report it to the Treasury Department and to the IRS. If you did not, jail time. Now this affected people who were signers on their mom or dad's accounts in a foreign country, they had to report anything $10,000 or more at any given time during the year. It remains in effect and foreign banks now report to the IRS these accounts. Again, deep inside a transportation bill that had nothing to do with taxes.
If you own a business keep an eye and ear open for bills that will affect you, speak out against them, contact your representatives. Always keep alert.
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Michael Lodge is a Nationally Certified Professional Mediator specializing in business disputes, as well as family conflicts. He has written three books and hosts an international podcast on IHeartRadio and other podcast media stations.