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January 24 2020

Some Seek Exemptions from California's New Labor Law, Others Left Struggling

by Charlotte Whelan

California’s new gig law, AB5, has threatened the jobs of contract workers throughout the state, setting strict requirements for maintaining their contractor status. (Read more about the law here and here). 

Some large groups are seeking exemptions, with a strong push coming from the freelance writers and newspaper carriers. A local San Francisco media outlet just reported: 

Freelance writers and newspaper carriers would be exempted from a broad new California labor law requiring that many be treated as employees rather than independent contractors, under legislation announced Thursday by a state senator.

Many are hopeful that this legislation will pass, although it will be difficult due to partisan politics in Sacramento. Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, the author of AB5, has been meeting with various groups since the law took effect on January 1.  

While it is understandable that groups are pushing for exemptions that directly apply to them and their jobs, it is important to note that there are many smaller contractor groups that may not be so lucky. If the new legislation passes, it demonstrates what can be done when Americans band together but we cannot forget that in this case, the true problem is AB5 itself, and there will be many independent contractors who do not have the influence to secure carve out exemptions for themselves. 

Contractors and Californians should rally around overturning AB5. That way, they will be able to protect the livelihoods of all independent contractors throughout the state from unnecessary regulation.





Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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