Two Truths And A Lie: California Employment Law AB5

Everybody loves the occasion sport/icebreaker “two truths and a lie.” 

With the New 12 months got here the brand new California employment legislation, AB5, which targets the burgeoning gig economic system and freelance employees. Are you able to establish which of the next is NOT true concerning the results of AB5? 

  1. AB5 will merely shield employees’ rights.  

  2. A whole lot of freelance employees have already misplaced their jobs. 

  3. Persons are being stripped of the work flexibility that they search.


California lawmakers have argued that AB5 is solely meant to guard employees rights, by guaranteeing fee of minimal wages, sick go away, and unemployment and employees’ compensation advantages. Whereas these are actually necessary entitlements for full-time employees, AB5 targets these employees who’ve chosen the pliability that freelance work and the gig economic system (i.e. tech platforms like Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, and Job Rabbit) present. Unions have taken a success lately, as many employees have opted for the pliability and freedom supplied by the gig economic system. By making it tougher to categorise employees as unbiased contractors, AB5 takes away alternative and pushes firms to do away with contractor positions in favor of (a small variety of) full-time staff.

On the identical time, lawmakers are eyeing the payroll taxes that firms pay on their staff. By eliminating many gig and freelance jobs, they assume it is going to end in elevated income for the state. 


Employees are already feeling the consequences of AB5. Vox Media laid off 200 freelance journalists in December attributable to stringent limitations on the variety of articles that freelance journalists can submit underneath AB5. Whereas some lawmakers might dismiss this lack of work as a small setback, tons of of employees at the moment are with out work, changed by a a lot smaller variety of part-time and full-time staff. As an alternative of with the ability to select their work to suit the calls for of kids, members of the family or different priorities, these employees are merely now with none revenue and no flexibility. 

The gig economic system, like different freelance jobs, has supplied a plethora of choices for folks to work exhausting and acquire additional revenue. AB5 targets this difficult work and ingenuity, taking away alternative and revenue from revolutionary Individuals who’ve discovered artistic methods to make an revenue. 


Whereas there are some inherent difficulties and uncertainty related to freelance and gig work, many employees crave the pliability that they provide.  Whether or not they earn a full-time revenue by gigs or look to complement their full-time job, the gig economic system has flourished as a result of employees are in a position to decide on the alternatives that greatest match their wants. Gig economic system jobs are a subset of freelance work that could be a hallmark of our labor pressure. With the implementation of AB5, these selections are taken away, alternatives disappear, and employees must discover much less versatile conditions or settle for the lack of financial alternative. 

Not solely will these employees endure with a scarcity of job alternatives, those that depend upon their flexibility will endure as properly. Moms who labored as freelance writers whereas staying dwelling with their kids will probably be pressured to seek out one other job which can take them away from the house and require childcare, or be pressured to just accept the lack of revenue for his or her household. 

America was constructed on a super of freedom. Freedom to stay and work. AB5 threatens this freedom by punishing artistic methods to earn a dwelling, all finished within the identify of “employees rights.” To study extra about this, learn California’s New Uber Law Just Put Hundreds of Freelance Writers Out of Work.

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