Writers and Photographers Sue State of California

Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) in California became law January 1, 2020. This law says writers and photographers can only be considered Independant Contractors if “submissions” per year per outlet are 35 or less. Why 35? This is a number Lorena S. Gonzalez came up with and admits it is arbitrary. A writer doing a weekly column for a weekly community newspaper would need to become an employee of the “hiring entity” — even though the writer is still providing the equipment, the heating, the electricity, etc. Once an employee, independent contractor deductions as self-employed disappear.

Interestingly, writers producing “marketing” content are exempt from the restrcitions.

The American Society of Journalists and Authors and the National Press Photographers Association believe the restrictions on their craft and business violates the US Constitution. Both parties filed a lawsuit seeking to have the restrictions removed based on the Constitutional issues. Below are various documents from the lawsuit. P = Plaintiffs, D = Defendant, T = Transcript, C = Court.

Both organizations are represented by Pacific Legal Foundation.

P: Original complaint.
P: Injunction Request.
D: Opposition to Temporary Restraining Order.
P: Reply to Opposition.
D: Opposition to Preliminary Injunction.
P: Response to Opposition to Preliminary Injunction.
P: Errata.
D: Reply Supporting Motion to Dismiss.
T: Transcript of March 11, 2020 hearing.
C: Ruling Against Plaintiffs, March 20, 2020.