Home>Articles>California Legislature Rejects Asm. Kiley’s Effort to Suspend Harmful Economic Impacts of AB 5

Assemblyman Kevin Kiley led the Repeal AB5 rally at the State Capitol. (Photo: Katy Grimes for California Globe)

California Legislature Rejects Asm. Kiley’s Effort to Suspend Harmful Economic Impacts of AB 5

The Assembly consciously chose to keep enforcing a law that is destroying people’s livelihoods and lives

By Katy Grimes, February 27, 2020 2:25 pm

Independent contracting allows workers freedom and control of how and when they work. Many said under AB 5, their liberty and freedom has been taken away. 

 

Thursday morning, the the California Assembly rejected a motion by Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin) to suspend AB 5 while corrective legislation is under consideration. Kiley’s Assembly Bill 1928 is an urgency measure to repeal AB 5 and would return the legal standard for independent contracting to what it was for decades before AB 5 and the Dynamex decision. Kiley proposed the Legislature suspend those recent changes pending further legislative consideration.

 

Assembly vote to reject a motion by Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin) to suspend AB 5. (Photo: @KevinKiley Twitter)

 

Assemblyman Kiley notified all Assembly Members with a reminder text Wednesday evening, and their Chiefs of Staff were briefed on Thursday’s #AB5 Suspension Vote. #AB1928

The Assembly rejected Kiley’s motion largely on procedural games. The vote taken was not to repeal the AB5 vote; it was a motion to temporarily suspend the Constitution to allow the urgency of AB 1928 to move forward.

Shortly after the vote, AB 5 author Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzales sent out this Tweet:

“When we passed #AB5 last year, we acknowledged our work to provide clarity following the #Dynamex decision wasn’t done. After more than a year of meetings, fact-findings and discussions with freelance writers and journalists, we’re making changes…”

Many replied on Twitter similarly:

“Why would you draft and pass a law in such a hurry that is still a work in progress as you’ve said yourself? That makes absolutely no sense!”

Independent contractors meeting after AB 5 vote killed. (Photo: Katy Grimes for California Globe)

“Today’s vote defied basic human decency,” said Assemblyman Kiley following the vote. “The Assembly consciously chose to keep enforcing a law that everyone, including the author, acknowledges has major problems and is destroying people’s lives. I’ve never been more ashamed of this legislative body.”

Kiley was not alone in his disappointment. Immediately following the vote, Kiley and a group of independent contractors opposed to AB 5, many who had traveled from Southern California, met and discussed what happened, covered some of the individual issues, and considered several solutions. California Globe was in the Assembly, and met after with many of the freelancers and independent contractors, and heard more stories about the impact AB 5 has had on their work.

These independent contractors have done their homework and understand AB 5 better than some lawmakers who voted for it.

List of 300 professions affected by AB 5. (Photo: Facebook)

Attending the meeting and rally at the Capitol were court reporters, massage therapists, professional musicians, sign language interpreters and foreign language interpreters, a retired fire fighter who has a business which provides medics for youth sporting events, medical professionals, professional actors, creative artists and other independent entrepreneurs.

Independent contracting allows workers freedom and control of how and when they work. Many said under AB 5. their liberty and freedom has been taken away.

By a show of hands, they said none of them were opposed to labor unions, but they did oppose being forced into one as AB 5 would do.

One actor said the real “gig” economy is in Los Angeles, home of the entertainment industry, where they all have many “gigs.” Musicians, actors and creative artists cobble together lots of gigs and can make a good living at it. AB 5 has already caused many of those businesses which hire them to notify them that the 1099 independent contractor arrangement cannot continue.

As for musicians and actors getting an exemption, another musician said that may be fine, but that doesn’t help with all of the other non-entertainment industry gigs he does. “Being a musician can’t be a full time job. If you carve out music, all of the other jobs I do are still in jeopardy,” he said.

The group of independent contractors also noted at the meeting following the vote that this is the ultimate non-partisan issue, or should be. Several commented that Assemblywoman Gonzalez is trying to keep the independent contractors divided. “I’ve been a Democrat all my life,” said one man. “But after today’s vote, AB 5 is making me think about moving to the Republicans.”

Another Tweet reply to Gonzalez expressed what many in the meeting also expressed: “Why wouldn’t you work out the kinks before thrusting your law on the public?! You passed a flawed law. It’s been only 2 months since implemented and already over 30 bills to correct its damages. Many of these problems were pointed out to you long before the bill was passed.”

One reason to stay on the good side of artists:

Repeal AB 5 artwork. (Photo: Twitter)

 

Shortly after the Assembly vote, Gonzalez issued a press statement about her amendments to AB 5:

When AB 5 passed last year, Assemblywoman Gonzalez acknowledged that the Legislature’s work was not done. She introduced Assembly Bill 1850 in January to continue working on the issues affecting a variety of industries following the unanimous 2018 California Supreme Court’s Dynamex decision that established a three-part ABC test for determining employment status. In the first substantive round of amendments to AB 1850, Assemblywoman Gonzalez is making a variety of changes to how AB 5 applies to freelancer writers, photographers and editors.

The amendments remove the cap on the number of submissions that a freelancer writer, photographer or editor can provide a single hiring entity before they must classify the individual as an employee. To strike a balance and protect employment opportunities in these professions, the amendments specify that a contractor cannot replace an employee position.

When these individuals provide services under a contract, the contract must specify the rate of their pay, a defined time by which they must receive their payment, and the individual’s intellectual property rights to the work. The amendments also specify that freelancers cannot be restricted from working for more than one hiring entity and cannot primarily perform their work at the hiring entity’s business location.

AB 5 already contains requirements that hiring entities of freelance writers, photographers, and editors must verify in order for Dynamex and the ABC test to not apply, including that:

    •          The individual is providing services through a sole proprietorship or other business entity.
    •          The individual maintains a business location that is separate from the hiring entity, which may include the individual’s residence.
    •          The individual has a business license, if their work is performed after July 1, 2020.
    •          The individual has the ability to set or negotiate their own rates for the services performed.

Many freelancers and independent contractors have asked why journalists will be granted an exemption, while they are not.

The easy answer is that the continuing political career of Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez cannot withstand an adversarial media. An exemption for journalists and photographers also removes their legal standing in their lawsuit.

In January, U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez denied two freelancers’ temporary restraining order request challenging Assembly Bill 5, despite their claims that the new law will prevent them from making a living at freelancing. In a highly questionable decision, the judge said they waited too long after the bill was signed into law in 2018 to make the emergency request for exemption from the law.

AB 5 limits freelance writers and photographers to 35 submissions annually per media outlet, and will serve to significantly limit Californians’ ability to work as independent contractors and freelancers. The lawsuit,  American Society of Journalists and Authors v. Becerra, will be heard in March.

AB 5 broadly codified the definition of an employee that the California Supreme Court established last year in a case involving two delivery drivers who sued the Dynamex Corporation for classifying them as independent contractors instead of employees.

It was revealed during Senate debate in September that the AFL-CIO wrote AB 5.

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29 thoughts on “California Legislature Rejects Asm. Kiley’s Effort to Suspend Harmful Economic Impacts of AB 5

  1. It is awful when government regulates any form of employment….yes, including safety. Let private contracts prevail and encourage litigation if abuses….refreshing when we recycle to thinking free to employ, free to work. Think on it……

  2. I am a legal transcriber, 69 years old on Social Security and this bill has devastated my livelihood. I lost my job almost 3 weeks ago. I depend on this additional income to supplement my Social Security benefits and pay for insulin that is very costly. My family and friends called and wrote members of the assembly this week asking for passage of AB1928, but our concerns were not heard. Sad days ahead in California!

    1. I, too, am a legal transcriber and supplemented my income and lost my job because of AB5. I depended on the extra income. I also called and wrote members of the assembly for passage of AB1928.

  3. I am very sorry to read about this. I had high hopes that they would re-think this scourge and maybe be reasonable after all the stories of devastation and unintended consequences. Sigh..

    1. In California, I’m guessing 95% of gov’t workers , teachers, professors vote democrat. With the big government/gov’t control, democrats will always be the majority. This situation was planned and implemented by the democrats, and it worked.

  4. This bill will destroy the lives of many artists, dancers etc in California – putting many dance studios out of business. Why would the Assembly do that to hurt so many people. I’ve always voted Democrat – I’d immediately vote for a Republican if that would solve the problem of this very hurtful legislation. Hopefully there are some Republicans considering running to assembly who will use this as a campaign issue.

  5. I am a disabled veteran who relied on the additional income from being an online adjunct professor. That income ceased with AB5 passing. I’m considering moving out of California just to survive.

  6. I am a court reporter that works for agencies doing depositions this law will absolutely hurt freelance reporters and make it even harder for the legal business in CA with this law and the shortage of reporters. I am on my way to getting my Texas license and leaving CA

  7. I’m a little confused….. You say in the article that the law was signed in 2018, but in fact, the law was signed by the Governor on 9/18/19. Was that a typo?

    Having said that, what statute of limitation was the judge referring to? If the bill was signed less than a year ago, there should be no limitation.

  8. How foolish we are. Millions and millions of service worker jobs created bringing expectations of “living wages”, free, free, free health care, education, food stamps for these low skill jobs. The welfare kabal and naive charities encourage more free health care, education, housing alternatives, free food, free,free.

    Danger signs ignored bringing us to a 1984 redistributed future.

  9. I’m so sorry for everyone this has affected. It breaks my heart. Fortunately, there are plenty of other states that actually listen to their citizens’ needs and the time has come for a lot of us to start making the tough decision to look elsewhere.

  10. I swear the democrats WANT chaos intentionally. I think they think it justifies needing a big full time state government/legislature.

  11. Save California, vote republican. Don’t move to another state, vote republican to strengthen our state. We must take back California!
    How do open borders, identity politics, racially charged legislation and donor only legislation help we the people of the United States.
    It’s all virtue signaling legislation with no positive outcome for everyone, except those in control of the government by entrenching power over we the people.
    How can we continually vote for the same democrat party that have usurped our right to earn a living in a manner we choose. Because we hate the other party? Because we believe that other than Democrats are deplorable?…
    Democrats want power. Nothing more. Every bill they pass is to strengthen the party hold on power and increase the donor, voter base.
    The Dems actually believe 50% of Americans are deplorable.
    The California Democrats usurped a citizens right to earn a living in the manner we choose. Illegal aliens? Yeah, we won’t talk about that will we. They don’t file 1099’s anyway. No legislation for that class of people. We’ll give them a pass and just continue to remove our citizens rights.
    Now those citizens have come to beg the Dems for rights that have been usurped and the Dems have said NO. Let them eat cake says the bills leading union shill.
    The only reason for AB5 is more union power and bigger donations from unions in the future. The very definition of deplorable. Pelosi has said we need a nationwide bill like AB5! Deplorable!!
    We the people have become nothing more than a means to an end to strengthen unions, government pensions and control over our very lives. When do you decide that your mad as hell and your not going to take it anymore! Now, now is the time vote out every Democrat you can. Give control of our state back to citizens and get government control out of our lives by voting out Democrats.

  12. The best intentions of Government in any ones lives is never a good thing!!! Lorena Gonzalez pushed this through without any thought of the many individuals she has affected. People, this has NOTHING to do with them looking out for our best interest, it is all about how much money the state can get from more taxes!!!! we all need to think about who we put in power in California, sorry if your a Democrat but they are doing a Great job of FING things up right now!!!

  13. I wish the author had identified the yays and nays by party.

    Does Gonzalez have a challenger? A primary opponent? Or is this union stooge going to get away scott free?

  14. The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.

    Ronald Reagan

  15. Today is your chance to break up that liberal nest in Sacramento! We desperately need more of a fight up there…but I’m preaching to the choir. I wish more Dem-voters would read the CA Globe and open their eyes and minds…

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