Washington, D.C. — On Monday, August 31, 2020, the California legislature approved Assembly Bill 2257 which granted additional occupations including photographers, translators, and musicians exemptions from Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), allowing them to continue operating as independent contractors. AB5 imposed strict new rules governing independent contract work in California and leaving thousands of Californians with reduced work and earning opportunities. This new bill also lifts the 35-submission cap on published content by writers, journalists, and photographers imposed by AB5.

Patrice Onwuka, senior policy analyst at the Independent Women’s Forum (IWF), issued the following statement:

“AB5 destroyed flexible working opportunities for Californians just at the time when they needed it most. We speak to women and men every day who have lost their incomes and livelihoods because of AB5.

“Independent contractors enjoy the independence of working on their terms and the flexibility of working on their schedule. This is attractive to many women and people who can’t or simply don’t want to work for a traditional employer because of caregiving responsibilities, health concerns, or other priorities. In a recent poll, 82% of independent contractors said they prefer being independent contractors over being a W-2 employee. 

“The job-killing nightmare may be over for some California workers thanks to these new exemptions, but it is still a harsh reality for thousands of other California independent contractors. 

“Lawmakers ought to fix the mess they created. Granting exemptions to those with big microphones or deep pockets isn’t the way to do it:  It’s undemocratic and unfair to those without the resources to lobby for special treatment. It’s time to fully repeal this flawed law.”

As part of the workforce campaign Chasing Work, IWF interviews and produces written profiles and mini documentary videos of individuals negatively affected by AB5 and other restrictions on worker freedom and flexibility. 

To learn more, visit: www.iwf.org/chasing-work.

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www.iwf.org

Independent Women’s Forum is dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities.