California law improves protections for millions of workers in the gig economy. Millions of Californians work as contractors rather than employees, which prevents them from accessing a variety of benefits such as health insurance and protection from employment discrimination. In 2019, however, the state passed a law that makes classifying workers as independent contractors more difficult for employers. The law will lead to the reclassification of close to two-thirds of all workers who are currently classified as contractors, such as childcare workers and janitors. By becoming employees, these workers will gain the right to unionize as well as access to health care, a particularly important change given that independent contractors in California are twice as likely to be uninsured as regular employees according to a recent study. Major employers opposed the bill and soon after the bill's passage Uber and Lyft filed a lawsuit claiming that the new regulations do not apply to them. Despite this pushback, California's strengthened labor legislation is part of a nationwide trend toward greater protection for gig economy workers. Eleven other states have passed similar laws to improve protections for independent contractors along with cities like New York and Philadelphia. Read more.