It sounds like Assembly Bill 5 author Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, is coming to her senses.
After intense criticism, the author of a sweeping new labor law that would affect freelance journalists and other “gig” employees, Gonzalez wants to amend the statute to eliminate any cap on the number of assignments freelance journalists can take.
She said she will seek to remove the 35-submission limit on the number of articles, photos and other assignments freelance media workers can produce for any employer.
That’s the best news we’ve heard all week — except for the fact that an Amazon Delivery Station is coming to Palmdale, but that’s another topic for another editorial.
Back to AB5 … if the measure passes the Senate and Assembly, it will take until next January to take effect.
“At that point there’d be far more people out of work than anybody would like,” Mickey Osterreicher, general counsel at the National Press Photographers Association, which jointly filed a lawsuit against AB5 in December with the American Society of Journalists and Authors, said.
The law affects freelance journalists who often produce more than 35 pieces for any one company in a calendar year.
AB5 makes it harder for companies to “classify workers as independent contractors instead of employees, who are entitled to minimum wage and benefits such as worker’s compensation.”
We’ve been hearing a lot about AB5 since it was introduced. Those affected, of course, are the most unhappy with it, but so are newspapers and other media outlets that rely on freelancers for regular columns, photos and other assignments.
We are very glad to hear that Gonzalez is seeking to remove the 35-submission limit. That means we can continue to print your favorite columns each week, without interruption.
We’ll keep an eye on this latest development regarding AB5 and hope to see the statute amended soon.