My prospects as a journalist that’s soon to graduate are looking grim. And I’m not alone.
California’s controversial Assembly Bill 5 was written with the intent of protecting freelance workers instead is making them unemployable.
Independent contractors, like I will be, could be much harder to employ.
The bill targets the “gig economy” which many have pointed to as unfair to workers. While it is true that many employees of these companies are taken advantage of, Uber in particular, has a spotty track record when it comes to relationships with its workers. Being the subject of a class-action lawsuit and a cavalcade of scandals.
It is important to protect people from predatory legislation, and there should be some on the books for the gig economy specifically, the current law targets the wrong people and further jeopardizes the workers.
The law harshly limits the number of times a company can contract work out to an individual before having to hire them as an employee of the company.
Because of their status as independent contractors, the companies are exempt from several laws protecting employees. Even though many of their workers are dependent on these jobs, and work long consistent hours, they are not technically employees.
This is obviously less than ideal, but some vocations, notably journalism, heavily rely on freelancers.
To get my foot in the door it is highly likely that I will freelance for a period of time, and being strictly limited in that will hurt my chances of finding regular employment.
Some companies are cutting ties with independent contractors costing workers hundreds of jobs.
This bill needs to be rewritten or removed as soon as possible, as it stands any minor benefits imparted by the bill are far outweighed by its unfortunate and unintended effects.
I hope that by the time I’m looking for a job this won’t be a concern, but in the meantime, the disastrous effects of the bill will impact an untold number of California workers and businesses. Lives will be upended and families will struggle to pay bills.