Benavides is one of a number of self-employed women in California who are speaking out in opposition to AB5, a union-backed law aimed at preventing misclassification of gig workers that took effect on January 1. The law presumes that every worker in the state--except those on a list of exempted industries, such as physicians, accountants, architects and engineers--is an employee... many independent workers in California say AB5's complexity has scared away their clients, who are afraid of getting hit with fines by the state if they misinterpret it. Governor Gavin Newsom's proposed 2020 budget includes about $20 million for enforcement. ... Many opponents say they started their own businesses because they need more flexibility than traditional jobs allow, to manage family responsibilities, like caregiving, or to cope with disabilities. ... In recent years, a growing number of women have flocked to self-employment. Given the glass ceiling and gender pay gap in many companies, some women find they earn more as independent workers than in a traditional job. For those juggling caregiving and a heavy load of unpaid household work, running a business from home instead of commuting is often the only way they can get everything done. Because of factors like this, women are now the fastest growing group of business owners in the country. The number of women-owned businesses rose from 21% from 2014 to 2019--compared to 9% for all businesses, according to the State of Women Owned Businesses Report, commissioned by American Express.

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