Hundreds of freelance writers in California got very bad news just ahead of Christmas when Vox Media informed them that they would be losing their jobs because of a new “gig economy” law intended to target Uber and Lyft.
“This is a bittersweet note of thanks to our California independent contractors,” said SB Nation executive director John Ness in a statement published on Monday.
“In 2020, we will move California’s team blogs from our established system with hundreds of contractors to a new one run by a team of new SB Nation employees,” he explained.
California Assembly Bill 5 will go into effect in 2020 and is intended to force “gig economy” giants like Uber and Lyft to pay their drivers as if they’re employees and provide more benefits. But it is also affecting other freelance workers and causing confusion among employers.
Ness added in a separate memo that writers could continue writing for the sports website, but without expectation of payment for their services.
Some took to social media to decry the decision.
To paraphrase future Beverly Hills gynecologist Eric Stratton, the fired Voxers f***ed up; they trusted Vox:
I’m not laughing with you, Voxxers, I’m laughing at you.