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AB 5 changes to address freelance writers, photographers

Independent Contractor Protest
Posted at 3:16 PM, Feb 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-27 18:16:12-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Several changes are being introduced to how Assembly Bill 5 applies to freelance writers and photographers.

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez announced the changes Thursday to address feedback from freelance writers and journalists over the effects of AB 5.

“Having heard additional feedback from a variety of freelance writers, photographers and journalists, we are making changes to Assembly Bill 5 that accommodate their needs and still provide protections from misclassification,” Assemblywoman Gonzalez said.

RELATED: Proposed bill would exempt musicians from AB 5

The changes will remove the cap on the number of submissions that a freelancer writer, photographer, or editor can submit to one hiring entity before they must be classified as an employee.

Hiring entities must not use a contractor to replace an employee position as well.

When contractors provide services, their contract must specify the rate of their pay, when they receive payment, and the individual's intellectual property rights to the work submitted. The changes also say a freelancer can work for more than one hiring entity and cannot primarily perform their work at an entity's location.

RELATED: Concerns raised as California's independent contractor law is set to take effect

AB 5 was signed into law last year, requiring companies, including tech giants like Uber and Lyft, to classify their independent contractors as employees. The bill also secured protections like minimum wage, overtime and workers compensation for workers.

The affect, however, left many freelancers and contract workers in various industries facing loss of work. Many were angered, arguing the bill was overreach and destroyed the "gig economy" flexibility and appeal.