GOOD AND HARD: California’s Gig Economy Is Under Attack.
In December, Vox Media announced it would not renew the contracts of around 200 California-based journalists who write for the sports website SB Nation, instead replacing those contractors with 20 part-time and full-time employees. Rev, which provides transcription services, and Scripted, which connects freelance copywriters with clients, similarly notified their California contractors that they would no longer give them work.
“Companies can simply blacklist California writers and work with writers in other states, and that’s exactly what’s happening,” Alisha Grauso, a co-leader of California Freelance Writers United (CAFWU), says. “I don’t blame them.”
Gonzalez, the bill’s sponsor, responded to such complaints by tweeting, “These were never good jobs. No one has ever suggested that, even freelancers.”
But freelancers beg to differ. “I’ve been able to earn nearly three times the amount I did working a day job, doing what I absolutely love, and having more [time] to volunteer and spend time with loved ones,” tweeted Jackie Lam, a financial journalist. Kelly Butler, a copywriter, echoed those sentiments: “Thousands of CA female freelancer writers, single moms, minorities, stand to lose their livelihood due to this bill,” she tweeted. “I was told by a client because I live in CA they can’t use me. I made $20K from them this year.”
As Henry Rademacher of Americans for Tax Reform noted in December, “Vox had previously been effusive in their support of AB5. But it turned out the law’s strict classification of the terms ‘independent contractor’ and ‘employee’ made it, in their own words, ‘impossible,’ for Vox to continue using their current business model. The problems AB5 causes are by no means limited to journalism. More than 1 million workers in California will be directly affected by it, with many likely to lose their job rather than gain full time employment.”
Related: How the Dems Stole Christmas: AB5 Killing Mall Santas. From Steve, but for PJM VIP members. The VODKAPUNDIT promo code will still get you a discount, if you’ve been thinking of joining.
(Classical reference in headline.)