Gov. Gavin Newsom has just signed a bill (AB 2257) that modified the 2019 AB 5, a law that attempts to determine just who is a contractor and who is an employee. The modification provides flexibility to freelance writers, musicians, film support crews, and visual artists, who now can continue working as independent contractors.
Gonzalez of San Diego introduced AB 5, and it caused immediate problems for the extensive freelance and independent contractor community in California. For example, freelancers writers were restricted from accepting more than 35 assignments from a single outlet, and musicians were prevented from returning to venues. It also affected a host of businesses that stopped using California-based freelancers to fear retroactive fees and fines.
The new regulations mean freelance writers, photographers, translators, and musicians will be among those getting exemptions from AB 5 to continue working as independent contractors, rather than employees.
Among the new features of AB 2257:
- It eliminates the 35-submission cap for freelance writers and photographers. Current rules dictated that California-based freelancers who contribute more than 35 submissions to an outlet per year must be reclassified as an employee.
- Translators, appraisers, and registered foresters are added to the “professional services” exemption. The exemption currently covers graphic designers, travel agents, and marketers, among others.
- The law allows music industry workers to continue working as freelancers. The list of exemptions includes recording artists, songwriters, producers, promoters, and many others.
– Excerpt from an article for the Deadline by Bruce Haring. Read the full article here.
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