As the fallout from AB5, California’s new gig law, continues, more and more Californians are taking to Twitter to reveal how the law is making it harder for them to earn a living.
Using #AB5 and #AB5stories, people are reaching out to tell their stories, showing how independent contract work let them enjoy flexibility while making a decent living. Laurie Allee tells how working as a freelance writer helped her to go from “starving artist” to empowered worker.
You know the term “starving artist?” Freelancing freed me from being one. You know the saying “don’t quit your day job?” Freelancing allowed me to do just that, and stay that way for decades. You know the term “corporate greed?” Freelancing gave me negotiating power. #fixab5 #ab5 https://t.co/46PelHHyx3
— laurie allee (@laurieallee) January 8, 2020
Others show how even if they are compliant with the AB5, they’re still losing income because contract agencies are unsure of their status.
Freelance editor w/ a 10-year career. I often edit 35+ docs in 1 day: the cap is nonsense. Im incorporated + I pass Borello & ABC test. My main contract agency still made me halt work since #AB5 is so poorly written it cant be sure of compliance. Lost 66% of my income #AB5stories
— Pro-freelance Pro-unions Pro-gressive (@FutureProof_SF) January 10, 2020
Even the music industry, centered for years in California, is facing problems, as independent artists would have to classify musicians or dancers as employees instead of contract workers.
“California has overreached in its effort to address the challenges in today’s tech platform gig-work economy.
— CalMatters (@CalMatters) January 10, 2020
These are only the smallest fraction of people speaking out, fighting for their livelihoods and the future of their industries. Some groups have been given relief by federal judges but the majority remain out in the cold, losing more and more income each day.
The effort to reclassify thousands of American workers as employees instead of independent contractors will remove what they value: flexibility. Lawmakers should respect the diversity of work arrangements because they meet the needs of women and men who want to balance earning opportunities with family, caregiving, education and other priorities.