SAN DIEGO (KSWB/CNN) - A group of exotic dancers gathered Thursday afternoon to challenge a bill they say could take away their livelihood.
California state Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez's bill would go after employers who misclassify workers as "independent contractors" instead of employees.
The dancers say they like being independent contractors because they have the freedom to choose when and how long to work.
"I don't want to be told what to do, when and where," said Mary, an exotic dancer. "That's why I'm an independent contractor, not an employee."
AB 5, authored by Gonzalez, codifies a recent state supreme court ruling that forces businesses to prove workers are independent contractors and not employees.
“They don’t want to pay workers’ comp; they don’t want to pay into Social Security,” said Alana Evans, with the Adult Performers Actors Guild. “When you’re 60 and get hurt, need disability, none of those things exist for us as workers if we’re not recognized as employees.”