The Threat to Freelance Writing (and other work)

Writers and Others

Are you a freelance writer? Do you use freelance writers? Laws could ruin your work and life styles. It is already happening in California.

This site focuses on California at the moment because California is an example of the disaster that can come to your state and to the nation. Go to twitter and search on #AB5.

AB5 -- Assembly Bill 5-- in California took effect January 1, 2020. This law was backed by unions and sponsored by Lorena S. Gonzalez (D). It was passed along party lines: Democrats yes, Republicans No.

This piece of legislation has had drastic, damaging effects on all kinds of workers. Here are just a few: writers, musicians, referees for school events, translators, magicians, mental health workers, forensic nurses.

AB5 in California exempts a few certain occupations -- such as lawyers, accountants -- but affects hundreds of others, such as seasonal Santa Clauses, golf caddies, translators.

The bottom line: AB5 makes it nearly impossible to be an independent contractor or to engage an independent contractor.

See for a compilation of news reports about laws affecting independent contractors.

Writers and Photographers Lawsuit Against AB5

AB5 restricts writers and photographers in crazy ways. In summary:

Writers and photographers cannot submit more than 35 pieces a year to any one outlet and be considered an independent contractor.

Writers cannot include ANY video with written copy and be considered an independent contractor.

The American Society of Journalists and Authors and the National Press Photographers Association contend that these restrictions violated the 1st and 14th Amendments of the US Constitution. Both groups have joined to file a lawsuit against the State of California to strike down the restrictions.