Assembly Bill 5 Author Writes Freelance Amendments

The lawmaker behind Assembly 5 presented a bill with amendments designed to ease the pain for freelance writers, editors and photographers.

Assembly Bill 5 author Lorena Gonzalez
The lawmaker behind Assembly Bill 5, Lorena Gonzalez, is ready to make changes for the freelancers she hurt.

California’s Assembly Bill 5, a contentious gig economy law, has inspired 34 different pieces of legislation in the last seven weeks, according to the Los Angeles Times.  Lawmaker Lorena Gonzalez, AB 5’s author, presented one of them that aims to reverse the devastating effects the law is having on freelancer writers, editors and photographers.

As it stands, these types of freelancers are limited to making 35 contributions per year to a single client.

See: Why Assembly Bill 5 Is Crushing California Freelancers

In Assembly Bill 1850, Gonzalez eliminates that arbitrary and devastating contribution cap. Instead, she proposes these rules:

  • Freelance clients must specify the rate they will pay freelancers.
  • Contracts must include intellectual property rights.
  • Contracts must state an obligation to pay by a defined time.
  • Freelancers cannot be restricted to working for a single client.
  • Freelancers cannot work primarily a client’s business location.
  • Freelance clients cannot hire freelancers for services to replace those provided by an employee.

This rewrite applies to “still photographers, photojournalists, freelance writers, editors and newspaper cartoonists who do not license or provide, as applicable, content submissions more than 35 times annually to a putative employer.”

 Assembly Bill 5 Meant to Be A Work In Progress

Despite widespread backlash, at least half-dozen legal challenges and no apparent support from freelancers, Gonzalez has been a staunch supporter of AB 5. She has even expressed disbelief that the law as harmful to freelancers as they say.

In the delusional world where Gonzalez apparently spends most of her time, this body of law is an outstanding achievement. “It’s the most significant labor reform law we’ve had in decades,” she said. “It is big.”

She admits “there are a lot of different situations.” And  “if there are situations that need to be addressed, I want to understand them. I take this seriously,” she said.

Gonzalez also claims that California legislators went into AB 5 territory knowing the law needed work.

The biggest labor law in decades and these representatives of the people decided to take a feel-it-out-as-we-go approach while pulling down tax-funded salaries?!

It’s hard for me to regulate my blood pressure and I don’t even live in California.

Repeal Effort Fails

Some legislators who are more in touch with reality and are working to help sort out this fiasco.

One of them is Assemblyman Kevin Kiley. “The only short-term solution is suspension, and a permanent solution must begin with repeal,” Kiley said via tweet.

He proposed Assembly Bill 1928 to roll back AB 5. When it went up for its first vote on the Assembly floor, it failed. The bill received 50 “no” votes and 15 “aye” votes.

Gonzalez screams Fuck Trump as protestors oppose Assembly Bill 5

 


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