Saturday, July 18, 2020

Gig, Freelance, Independent Contractor Work Is Doomed If Joe Biden and The Democrats Win In 2020

If you're one of the 57 million or so gig and freelance workers out there you might want to take a good hard look at who you're planning to vote for in the upcoming 2020 elections.

Any of you familiar with the new California law AB5 that took effect on January 1, 2020? That epic mess of a bill that was cobbled together by Democratic Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, and endorsed by Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom? The law that is pretty much decimating the gig economy in California for pretty much every independent contractor other than "doctors, dentists, psychologists, insurance agents, stockbrokers, lawyers, accountants, engineers, real estate agents" and some other lucky ones who happen to live in the Golden State? The bill that is basically forcing businesses to switch independent contractors to employees? The bill that could effectively bankrupt many of those companies and small businesses because they can't afford to hire those contractors full time? The bill that is making people prove that they fit the criteria of being an independent contractor through the ABC Test, which entails submitting a myriad of paperwork?

Guess who supports AB5 and wants to make it national- Joe Biden. Yes, the man who some thought was the most palatable and moderate of the sorry lot of Democratic candidates running for president. Joe Biden tweeted his support for the bill  6 days after Gonzalez actually admitted she was WRONG  for believing the bill wouldn't somehow adversely affect gig workers, including musicians. 
“we never intended for a band member to be another band member’s employer if they’re playing on the weekends or here and there..”
People are losing work- many their livelihoods- due to this epic failure of a law. Female home-based business owners (including women of color)- many of whom need the flexibility of freelance work- are being hard hit. Including LGBTQ folk, and those with physical disabilities.

 According to Forbes:

"In recent years, a growing number of women have flocked to self-employment. Given the glass ceiling and gender pay gap in many companies, some women find they earn more as independent workers than in a traditional job. For those juggling caregiving and a heavy load of unpaid household work, running a business from home instead of commuting is often the only way they can get everything done."
And this:
"... many independent workers in California say AB5’s complexity has scared away their clients, who are afraid of getting hit with fines by the state if they misinterpret it. Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed 2020 budget includes about $20 million for enforcement."

But it's not just California- there are other blue states including Illinois, New Jersey, and New York considering similar job-killing bills. If the Democrats retain Congress, retake the Senate, and win the White House those 57-plus million gig workers can effectively kiss their businesses goodbye.

So which gig workers are being targeted?

-Newspaper delivery workers (exempt for 1 year)
-Rideshare workers (Uber/Lyft)
-Food delivery drivers (Postmates etc)
-Writers (can only submit 35 submissions per year per outlet, Vox Media fired hundreds of independent contractors because of AB5.
-Photographers (can only submit 35 submissions per year per outlet)
-Many musicians (the industry fought back and some will be exempt) but if you're a musician working in theme parks, forget it.
-Film and TV workers not working under a Union Contract (including freelance dubbing and voice-over work, makeup artists)
-Convention workers
-Unlicensed manicurists (exempt for 2 years)
-Health Aides (in Nursing homes and Assisted Living facilities)
-Janitors and housekeepers
-Land surveyors, landscape architects, geologists
-Campaign workers
-Language interpreters and translators
-Commercial fisherman (exempt until 2023)
-Truckers (some)

Some health professionals are also not exempt. Those include:

Audiologist, clinical social worker (licensed), marriage and family therapist, nurse practitioner, occupational therapist, optometrist, physician assistant, radiation therapist, speech therapist, professional clinical counselor (licensed), respiratory therapists.

The fact that Joe Biden and the Democrats support such a job killing bill should have you truly frightened.  Do your research before you vote yourself out of your freelance jobs.

More info:

Facebook Group Freelancers Against AB5
Who's exempt and who's not..
For those in the Arts and entertainment biz.
Some great info.