The harm caused by California’s AB5 laws is finally being highlighted in the national media. This was not just through the PRO Act, changes to U.S. Department of Labor rules concerning independent contractors and franchisers, but also with the nomination of Julie Su as United States Department of Labor secretary. Both the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections (California Congressional lawmakers) have written to President Joe Biden to oppose Su’s nomination. Su was not only the architect and enforcer of AB5 but also managed the $40 million fraud by the California Employment Development Department.
Newsom shuts down businesses → Julie Su lets criminals empty the unemployment fund → the state takes a federal loan to make up for it → Newsom neglects to pay it back → small businesses get taxed to pay off the debt.https://t.co/kmxFSQ6QAO
— Kevin Kiley (@KevinKileyCA) April 3, 2023
California Business and Industrial Alliance founder Tom Manzo and Freelancers Against AB5 founding member Karen Anderson voiced concern about Su’s poor track record in Orange County Register.
People will soon be saying “Don’t California my state” to those who said it in the past. This is because Julie Su, the most radical nominee for U.S. Labor Secretary, is coming.
Su was responsible for several programs and initiatives designed to “protect” workers’ rights and improve working conditions in California.
Su’s biggest failure as California’s labor Secretary was her mismanagement of the Employment Development Department. This state agency is responsible for providing unemployment benefits. Su also failed to file millions in pandemic-related unemployment claims. Criminals, including death row prisoners, were paid billions of dollars by state agencies.
As a result, nearly $40 billion in taxpayer dollars were wasted through fraudulent unemployment claims – the largest case of unemployment fraud in state history. Even Su admitted she “did not have sufficient security measures in place to prevent this level of fraud, and criminals took advantage of the situation.”
#AB5 architect Julie Su destroyed thousands of CA jobs.#AB5 forced Jared to shut down his home services business. He went from making $80k/year to minimum wage.
Su’s response to Jared and other freelancers: “That’s not the kind of economy we want in CA.”
— Rep. Kevin Kiley (@RepKiley) April 6, 2023
The Orange County Register is not to be considered. The Orange County Register aside.
In West Virginia, a billboard reads “Biden nominee Julie Su wishes the lights to go out”. A second warns Montanans that Su, U.S. President Joe Biden’s labor secretary nominee, will transform Montana into California. The message in Arizona reads: “Su could destroy your gig. ”
As Su’s confirmation hearing date, April 20, approaches, digital ads, and newspapers will start appearing more often in these states. Industry groups have begun to oppose her policies.
The Subcommittee on House Workforce Protections will be looking at AB5 on April 19th.
I will never stop fighting for independent workers. This hearing will shine a light on #AB5 architect Julie Su’s destruction of workers’ livelihoods in CA and the threat her policies and ruthless enforcement pose to millions of workers nationwide. https://t.co/LqD7Z9UAHn
— Rep. Kevin Kiley (@RepKiley) April 12, 2023
House Republicans will hold an inquiry about independent contractors and California’s approach to protecting workers’ rights following increased opposition to Julie Su’s nomination for US Secretary of Labor.
The House Workforce Protections Subcommittee, which will review California’s Assembly Bill 5, will be taking a look at the bill just one day before Su’s scheduled Senate nominee hearing. Su, who was the former state labor secretary for California, supported it. It codified the state’s “ABC” worker classification test, making it more difficult to classify gig workers under the same category of contractors.
Republican legislators and truckers associations, as well as app-based businesses such as Lyft Inc. or Uber Technologies Inc., have protested the law that assumes workers are employees and independent contractors.
It is quite shocking.
“Julie Su is the most radical and flawed nominee for Labor Secretary in recent memory. In California, Su presided over wide-scale unemployment insurance fraud and threatened to put thousands of business owners out of work.”https://t.co/W40v3lCoyL
— @cabia (@cabia_speakup) April 6, 2023
On April 6, California legislators wrote a letter to President Joe Biden in which they voiced their opposition to Su and recommended that the president withdraw Su’s consideration.
Julie Su is not fit to serve as Secretary of the Department of Labor. pic.twitter.com/jC3hD4Ug3y
— House Committee on Education & the Workforce (@EdWorkforceCmte) April 6, 2023
At a time when American businesses are experiencing workforce shortages and high inflation, the administration needs stability. EDD in California is also plagued by this problem. The Labor Department Inspector General estimates that improper payments for pandemic unemployment program payments totaled at least $191 trillion. This large amount was due to fraud. Experts from the Labor Department estimated it at $400 billion. But, $5 billion has yet to be recovered.
“Because her record was not well-informed in California, we are worried about the possible for catastrophic ramifications at the federal level if Ms. Su becomes Secretary.” “We ask you to withdraw her nomination as Secretary of Labor.”
They soft-pedaled. To make it easier for businesses, she deliberately deceived independent contractors to apply for unemployment benefits that they were not eligible for.
“Diabolical” would have been a better option.
A reminder that during the height of the pandemic, @USDOL nominee Julie Su used her office in California to encourage independent contractors to apply for unemployment *benefits they were not entitled to receive* so she could play classification politics with their lives. pic.twitter.com/7XDe6RDN67
— Kim Kavin (@thekimkavin) April 11, 2023
Bloomberg portrays Su as a poor and petty public servant caught in a political storm. Bloomberg refers to the Subcommittee hearing by using terms like “targeted” and “all-out Campaign”.
The hearing takes place as congressional Republicans and business wage an all-out war against Su, just before she appears before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. They claim her record in California is problematic for the ongoing rulemaking by the US Department of Labor regarding overtime pay and independent contractors.
Bloomberg also participated in the campaign.
Julie Su’s abysmal track record demonstrates that she is anti-business and anti-worker. Her promotion to Secretary of Labor would eliminate job opportunities for millions of hard-working Americans.
— Stand Against Su (@StandAgainstSu) April 4, 2023
Manzo, Freelancers of CABIA Against AB5 Anderson wrote further:
Su’s antibusiness agenda caused millions to suffer in California, not just because she mishandled unemployment claims. This law is a disgrace to the state’s independent workforce.
The crashing of AB 5 could endanger the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Californians working in a variety of occupations. Su, despite the fact that AB 5 was opposed by thousands of independent contractors from California, doubled her support and said that AB 5 would be a model for the country. ”
Legacy shops are still a source of malignment for independent professionals and concerned workers, and they try to interfere with Su or the Biden government as this milquetoast offering from Reuters shows.
Su is a civil rights lawyer, and he was formerly the California labor commissioner. He is the current head of California’s sprawling agency for labor. He is a Chinese immigrant and needs at least 50 votes in order to be elected to Senate. The current 51-49 margin for Democrats is slim.
According to industry professionals, it is unlikely that all Democrats or Independents will support Su. They told Reuters they believe that Su will be rejected by the majority of Democrats and Independents.
Industry groups are focusing their campaign on West Virginia and Arizona. They fear that Su will push for policies across the country that are similar in style to those she oversaw in California. She supported laws that classify gig workers as employees. Some businesses fear that this would affect their ability to rely on freelancers.
“Classified some freelance workers” and “businesses claim”, are outright lies. Water carriers will carry.
There are so many issues with your article, @MiamiHerald. Where’s the balance? It’s not just Republicans who oppose her. Nonpolitical groups oppose her.
1. It fails to mention professional freelancers fighting against Julie Su. https://t.co/hdH0iVbZgDhttps://t.co/BJlYv1vikw
— Lila Stromer (@LilaMStromer) April 10, 2023
Worker advocacy groups such as CABIA (the Institute for the American Worker), and small businesses continue their fight to stop Su’s nomination. They have tirelessly worked for the past 30 years to raise awareness about the blatant attempts of the Department of Labor (and the PRO Act) to spread the ills of AB5 to every state in the Union.
“As the chief enforcer of AB 5, Julie Su was a nightmare for freelancers and small businesses in California. She has no business being Labor Secretary after her track of failure,” said Freelancers Against #AB5 founder Karen Anderson.https://t.co/FTsl9zT9Hf#FightForFreelancers
— Institute For The American Worker (@Inst4AW) April 6, 2023
Protecting the tipping culture is imperative for tipped workers to remain making above a minimum stagnant wage. A reclassification of service workers by a Julie Su DOL would devastate our incomes. Read this Op-Ed from our Director @ServiceSimone and RWA President @MrTipCredit. https://t.co/kEjvIAtApi
— Full Service Workers Alliance (@FullServiceWkrs) April 10, 2023