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Proposed bill would exempt musicians from AB 5

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Posted at 7:40 AM, Feb 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-05 10:40:47-05

SANTEE, Calif. (CNS) - A bill to exempt musicians and music industry professionals from a law regulating freelance workers was introduced by Sen. Brian Jones, R-Santee.

Jones authored Senate Bill 881 at the request of San Diego musicians. He calls Assembly Bill 5, which was signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2019, "heavy-handed legislation" that "threatens the original 'gig' economy."

"Jazz musicians in the 1920's coined the term 'gig' for a temporary or occasional show they would do, such as performing a few songs at a music festival, teaching a private music lesson or producing a couple of songs for a client," Jones said.

"Musicians and music industry professionals are clearly freelance occupations, yet under AB 5 for each `gig' a musician or producer books, the hirer must add them to their payroll as an employee and start paying fees such as unemployment insurance."

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, authored AB 5 and has said it was designed to protect workers who have been misclassified as independent contractors rather than employees.