California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Says She Simply Doesn't Believe All Of Those Who Have Been Harmed By Her AB5 Bill

from the so-caring dept

We've written a few times now about California's AB5 law that has more or less made it difficult to impossible for many freelancers/contractors to still work in California. Even though the stated intentions of the bill's author, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, and its supporters was to "protect" workers, the reality is anything but that. It's yet another case of politicians who have no clue how the world actually works, insisting that what they're doing must work fine because their intentions are good. Many people who have been impacted by this have found that Gonzalez has been dismissive of their concerns -- and at times directly rude to people on Twitter highlighting these issues. We had thought that perhaps Gonzalez had realized there might be a more constructive way at the end of last year when she asked for thoughts on a possible small tweak to the law. That change would have been wildly insufficient, but it was, at least, a step in the right direction.

However, with the new year, we apparently have the same old Lorena Gonzalez. She was interviewed on local San Diego TV station KUSI, and was obnoxiously dismissive of the idea that people have actually been harmed by her law. The newscasters highlighted actual people who were losing work because of the law, and Gonzalez's response was that she doesn't believe the people. In one case, they showed an interview with a freelance translator -- who actually had worked for the state and even for Gonazlez herself, and had voted for her -- who said she can't get work any more because of AB5, and Gonzalez appears to dismiss her as not telling the truth.

I'm sorry, and I feel that she does feel that way. But, I don't think it's true

She then claims that (of course) unnamed translator companies have been telling her they love AB5 because other companies have been undercutting them by bringing in freelancers.

Multiple people are shown talking about how this law is negatively impacting them, and time and time again Gonzalez dismisses their concerns or insists they can just "form a business" and be exempt. She jumps in, as soon as the interview starts, to say that she just doesn't believe that thousands of people have been put out of work. But notice that she's choosing her words carefully -- saying that people have been "put out of work." But freelancers who are just not getting the jobs they used to aren't "put out of work," they're just not seeing any new work like they used to. Gonzalez's entire framing of the issue suggests she still has no idea how freelancing works.

Hilariously, just minutes later, Gonzalez then completely dismisses more examples of freelancers who are losing work because of AB5. The reporters at the TV station highlight Vox Media's decision to cut off 200 freelancers in California and Gonzalez responds:

First of all, it wasn't a job. Those aren't jobs. Those are freelance positions.

Uh, yes. And now they're gone. She goes on to try to dismiss all of those Vox writers, by suggesting that it was more of a side thing. But, uh, the whole point is that those "side" jobs aren't available any more, and it ignores how many freelancers pile up a bunch of those kinds of gigs to make a living -- with the flexibility that they want.

KUSI then shows an interview with an independent contractor political cartoonist, who notes that even if you're exempt from the law, as a private business (Gonzalez keeps falling back to the idea that any freelancer can set up their own corporation -- which costs a lot of money, by the way -- and then they're exempt), media companies don't want to deal with the risk and aren't hiring them any more. Rather than respond to the actual concerns of the cartoonist, Gonazlez goes into a semantics argument saying that merely using the terms "hire and fire" show that we're talking about jobs, not contractors. But, uh, no, that's not how any of this works.

As the interview ends, she says that "thousands" of (nameless) people have been thanking her because they "now have jobs" thanks to AB5. What's amazing is that apparently none of those people have social media or have talked to any news organizations, because all of the people publicly discussing AB5 appear to be freelancers and contractors who are losing business because of the bill.

Oh, and just to put a kicker on this. Just as the interview was being conducted, the NY Times opened up a job request for a freelancer to cover California real estate. Oh, but they can't live in California because of AB5.

They're not the only ones, of course. Late last year, local news site Patch, which hires many freelancers, announced that it was looking to hire people to cover California... but only if they didn't live in California.

What comes up time and time again, and which Gonzalez keeps dismissing, is that tons of these freelancers want to be freelancers and don't want to be employees. And she, without understanding these industries, keeps insisting that she knows better, and that they'd be better off with jobs they don't want. It's a mess.

Filed Under: ab5, california, contractors, freelancers, jobs, lorena gonzalez, work


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2020 @ 12:30pm

    She then claims that (of course) unnamed translator companies have been telling her they love AB5 because other companies have been undercutting them by bringing in freelancers.

    Even if true (which there is good reason to doubt), this is not a particularly compelling endorsement in my opinion. If the freelancer-based companies were undercutting salary-based companies, then that says the freelancer companies were providing their service at a better price, relative to the quality offered. Maybe they did that by underpaying their freelancers. Maybe they did it by hiring people who were simply better at the job than the salaried translators are. Regardless, the fix is not to legislatively put one side out of business. The fix is for the salary-based companies to offer a better price/quality ratio, whether by using cheaper employees or by improving the quality of their service.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Jan 2020 @ 12:26am

      Re:

      "...whether by using cheaper employees..."

      Seriously?

      You think the proper response to soaring inequality and deficient worker bargaining power is to put pressure on existing employers to cut wages? AB5 might need some revision, but the problems it is trying to address are real and not going away without serious legislation.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Jan 2020 @ 5:12am

        Re: Re:

        There is also the fact that freelance work isn't supposed to be cheap labour, but specialized labour to cover specific situations.

        That is, for normal productive job, you hire employees. When the shit hits the fan, you hire freelancers, that provide you more expertise and flexibility, but at a cost.

        The reason for it being more expensive is also because freelancers have a more unstable job and don't have the social benefits (like paid vacations) that salaried workers have.

        The benefit for the freelancer, apart from higher wages, is that they get to decide their when, what and how they work.

        Problem is that now there is a tendency to avoid paying the employees their benefits by hiring what is called "fake freelancers".

        That is, freelancers that are treated and do the same job as a salaried employee, but without paying them their vacations and other things (depends on country) and with wages that are usually the same or lower than the hourly rate for an employee.

        Oh, and without having to set them a space to work, their computer or tools or whatever they need.

        So no, we aren't talking about companies innovating when they cut costs giving you the same quality hiring freelancers, but rather, returning to the old times of undercutting costs while exploiting the people who work under them.

        That can't even be called employees, even if they are going to be treated like one.

        So don't be deluded: this isn't a WIN-WIN scenario, but rather, your old WIN-LOSS scenario.

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        identicon
        Hot Dog, 15 Jan 2020 @ 5:51pm

        Re: Re:

        You are a fucking moron who doesn't know anything not only about this so called "law" but also about the original court decision it's based on. Fucking douchebag.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2020 @ 12:34pm

    According to Wikipedia she's a "Labor Organizer". Perhaps in her mind, only "unionized jobs" are real jobs? Not suggesting freelancers go join a union, but it would explain her attitude.

    Regardless, it looks like elections are held in June of this year. Might be a good idea to vote her out in favor of someone who actually listens to her constituents.

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    • icon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 12:40pm

      Re:

      Politicians don't listen to their constituents anymore. They listen to those with money, who are willing to spend it on their campaigns. I this case, possibly unions.

      Now a freelance union sounds like an idea, but they would probably lack the leverage to negotiate with management, especially if AB5 remains intact or with insufficient adjustment.

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    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 1:24pm

      Re:

      According to Wikipedia she's a "Labor Organizer". Perhaps in her mind, only "unionized jobs" are real jobs? Not suggesting freelancers go join a union, but it would explain her attitude.

      This actually came up during the interview, and she gave a confusing response in which at first she insisted that this had nothing to with helping/supporting unions, but then later admitted that in a perfect world ALL JOBS would be unionized.

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      • icon
        JoeCool (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 2:25pm

        Re: Re:

        In a perfect world, unions wouldn't be needed.

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        • icon
          Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 15 Jan 2020 @ 5:25am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Too true, Joe.

          We need them because our own ability to negotiate a better deal at work depends on whether or not our bosses like us. Collective bargaining levels the playing field.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2020 @ 11:37pm

        Re: Re:

        Help me understand something. What kind of animal are unions in the US? Why are they so reviled and wield so much power?
        Shouldn't unions just be a way for workers to gain the power to not be exploited by their employer? Organizations who have the power and knowledge to get the employee his or her due when they have been wronged?

        I can tell you how it works here: We pay every month so that we gain:
        A. Higher unemployment benefits if we get unemployed.
        B. The knowledge and expertise of people who know the rules about the work environment and who have the respect and money to sue any company that break the rules (safety, in case of injury. Wrongful termination. Failing to compensate their workers according to the law. Paying for missed salary until it can be reclaimed from the company... or even if it can not).

        My point is that they are not major political powers and we do not want to be without the protection they offer, so even with the extra payment each month, a very big part of the population chose to pay for both A and B. They are such a force for good here.

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        • icon
          Mike Masnick (profile), 14 Jan 2020 @ 12:39am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Help me understand something. What kind of animal are unions in the US? Why are they so reviled and wield so much power?

          They're reviled by some and not by others. They wield some power in some industries, but very little in others.

          Shouldn't unions just be a way for workers to gain the power to not be exploited by their employer?

          In theory, sure. My degree is literally in labor relations so I know quite a bit about this. There is a place for collective bargaining in certain industries. I'm supportive of that. And the early rise of unions was to step in and help where such collective bargaining was needed, to make that possible and in many cases to help stop employer exploitation of workers who had few options.

          In practice, however, unions themselves then became a new source of power and exploitation. They frequently became corrupt (power corrupts) and, as such, did all sorts of things that were much more in the interest of the union, and not the workers they represented.

          I don't know where you are, but the setup of organized labor in other countries is often quite different, and the nature of the power structures is as well. In Germany, for example, where labor gets a seat on the board, it has created a more collaborative approach, wheras the US model is very, very, very, antagonistic. There is an argument that the German approach -- while leading to less strife -- has meant less innovation and less flexibility for companies to innovate.

          Either way, in areas where unions are powerful, they are incredibly powerful, and they're able to leverage that power -- and historically have done so for corrupt purposes.

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          • icon
            Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 15 Jan 2020 @ 5:28am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Either way, in areas where unions are powerful, they are incredibly powerful, and they're able to leverage that power -- and historically have done so for corrupt purposes.

            They've also been abusive to non-members, as a trucker once complained to me, calling the union members "thugs."

            However, when they're weak, we workers get screwed over. What we need is a way to call time on the abuses while retaining the benefits.

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        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 14 Jan 2020 @ 5:51am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Help me understand something. What kind of animal are unions in the US? Why are they so reviled and wield so much power?"

          Google Jimmy hoffa.

          Also, in europe a union often has it easy because many employees rights are already enshrined in law - paid maternity/paternity leave etc, high standards of minimum working conditions, high minimum wages.

          In the US the unions live in fortress mentality where they need to fight for absolutely everything. This doesn't endear them to business owners. And thanks to Hoffa's legacy there's still urban myth about a "union" being the go-to place when you need something illegal done on business scale.

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          • icon
            urza9814 (profile), 14 Jan 2020 @ 12:55pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The issue is bigger than that, I think. We have a whole mentality of wealth as a religion. So unions being bad for business becomes a core tenant of the national collective consciousness as unions being bad in general. When organizations DO unionize, the benefits collapse quite quickly. The workers get fed up with the abuse from management, they fight like hell to unionize, they (hopefully) win and make dramatic improvements to the workplace...and then the new hires come in already indoctrinated with a belief that unions are bad and seeing all the improvements as pre-existing conditions. So they figure there's no point in engaging with the union in the first place since everything seems alright. And slowly the protections get rolled back, because nobody is fighting, and that's seen as more evidence that the union is useless, and pretty soon it all comes tumbling down.

            I have yet to see a union that manages to keep the membership engaged and involved. That's the biggest problem with them IMO. The unions too don't care about much other than the dues once they're established -- again, church of the dollar mentality, if it's not money then it doesn't count. So they don't maintain the networks and knowledge, because that costs money, and it doesn't create money, so it's worthless!

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            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 15 Jan 2020 @ 4:46am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "We have a whole mentality of wealth as a religion. So unions being bad for business becomes a core tenant of the national collective consciousness as unions being bad in general."

              ...and of course, it's just plain unamerican to rely on anyone but a lawyer to censure your abusive job these days. It's a bit different in europe where in most places it's taken for granted that unions are necessary parts of the marketplace.

              "The unions too don't care about much other than the dues once they're established -- again, church of the dollar mentality, if it's not money then it doesn't count. So they don't maintain the networks and knowledge, because that costs money, and it doesn't create money, so it's worthless!"

              I think you just described about 90% of the issues the US is facing. If a bridge stands to come tumbling down or a dam set to blow and drown the nearby city then there'll still be a fight in city hall about throwing money into maintenance. Unions are part of the infrastructure of the marketplace but like any other infrastructure it's a money sink no one cares about until a problem has become too big to easily fix.

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            • icon
              Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 15 Jan 2020 @ 5:38am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ye Olde Selfe Fulfilling Prophesy

              We have a whole mentality of wealth as a religion. So unions being bad for business becomes a core tenant of the national collective consciousness as unions being bad in general.

              All Libertarians I've interacted with believe this in their bones, and have been eager to tell me so.

              When organizations DO unionize, the benefits collapse quite quickly. The workers get fed up with the abuse from management, they fight like hell to unionize, they (hopefully) win and make dramatic improvements to the workplace...and then the new hires come in already indoctrinated with a belief that unions are bad and seeing all the improvements as pre-existing conditions. So they figure there's no point in engaging with the union in the first place since everything seems alright. And slowly the protections get rolled back, because nobody is fighting, and that's seen as more evidence that the union is useless, and pretty soon it all comes tumbling down.

              I've also seen that. Terry was very antagonistic towards unions. Mind you, he was cut from the "Temporarily embarrassed millionaire" cloth, so I'm not surprised. He just wouldn't accept that they could be a force for good.

              I have yet to see a union that manages to keep the membership engaged and involved. That's the biggest problem with them IMO. The unions too don't care about much other than the dues once they're established -- again, church of the dollar mentality, if it's not money then it doesn't count. So they don't maintain the networks and knowledge, because that costs money, and it doesn't create money, so it's worthless!

              You mean, they too have bought into the right wing narrative that unions are the spawn of Satan? I can see that. Britain's Left has a significant number of hardliners (often referred to as "the Trots") who are all about class and how badly working class people are victimised by everyone in higher echelons. They therefore deny each other the opportunities of pursuing aspirational goals or taking part in certain activities as "class treachery." Basically, it really is the politics of envy because they hate the better off, want to be just like them when they grow up, but if anyone dares to get a certain car or attend the ballet or something, they're a massive traitor. I really can't be dealing with such utter stupidity.

              I find it fascinating that people will believe a certain narrative about themselves and go above and beyond to prove it right instead of resisting it and proving it wrong. The current crop of Trots are cartoonish in the way they behave. It really is ridiculous.

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    • icon
      Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 15 Jan 2020 @ 5:24am

      Re:

      According to Wikipedia she's a "Labor Organizer". Perhaps in her mind, only "unionized jobs" are real jobs?

      That's what it looks like from across the Pond. That's one of the reasons why I'm not a socialist even though I sympathise with many of their positions. I can't abide authoritarian paternalism, wherever it comes from.

      Not suggesting freelancers go join a union, but it would explain her attitude.

      That might be a good idea. The union would be able to campaign for a better deal for freelancers. They don't have the power of collective bargaining.

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  • icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 12:35pm

    How not to look before you leap

    Ah, a prime example of a politician with their head squarely up their own ass.

    Could someone more talented at graphics than I create a meme for this (not that there aren't more than a few out of work freelancers already working on this)?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2020 @ 12:36pm

    Why don't the freelancers form a business though? It's not difficult, or expensive, or even time-consuming. Their former freelancer gigs then become legitimate contractor gigs, they keep doing the same work, problem solved.

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    • icon
      Cdaragorn (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 12:41pm

      Re:

      This was literally addressed in the article and just showed that you, like her, don't know what you're talking about.
      It is expensive. It is time consuming. And above all it is absolutely ridiculous to require people to do that just so they can do a small job for someone else.
      Freelancing is not the horrible thing so many people call it out to be. It serves a legitimate need for both companies and individuals and there is no good reason to make it so hard to do.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2020 @ 12:58pm

        Re: Re:

        The article is wrong. In California it's $50 and a short form to start a business. That's all.

        I have formed an LLC in California, and another in Washington state. Neither took much effort or even research. There are numerous free state and federal guides and resources available to help anyone start a small business.

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        • icon
          Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 1:04pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Did you forget about all the work that took place to start your businesses, and what value your time and effort might be worth, along with premises and employees, etc. (it could be a very long list, and expensive) that are above and beyond the $50 license?

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        • icon
          James Burkhardt (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 1:36pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Sounds like you are talking about a Sole Proprietorship, with a $50 filing fee for a fictitious business name. That is however, not a corporation. You can do that without ever forming a separate legal entity. But i'll let that slide.

          All LLCs registered with the State of California must pay $800 a year to the state, regardless of income. So you've already ignored some of the ongoing costs of forming a corporation.

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          • identicon
            coward (anon), 13 Jan 2020 @ 5:17pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            And as a corporation (even an LLC) you will need I-9 forms for yourself which you will have to pay someone to process. You will also need to make quarterly or monthly tax and SSI payments to both the state and the feds. And at the end of the year, you will need to file with both the state and the feds W-2 forms and mail mail them to yourself. There may also be medicare/medical or ACA forms to deal with. There may also be other forms to deal with, I ended up paying and accountant to deal with all of this. It isn't cheap or quick or easy.

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            • icon
              z! (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 5:38pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Yabut, a corporation does not need to have employees. You, as the owner, can take a dividend whenever you want. That'll be taxed as personal income. As for the rest- SSI (SDI?) is only if you have employees. Same for medicare and W-2s. I-9 forms don't need to be "processed" at all. A one-owner shop can do a lot without employees.

              And for any expenses, you build that into what you charge and move on.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 14 Jan 2020 @ 10:15am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Individual contractors, aka "freelancers", are already effectively sole proprietorships without all the extra paperwork and fees. A large number may, in fact, be registered as businesses already. It changes nothing with regard to this story and the problem it describes.

                The "company" at the center of the discussion is a larger business with all the freelancers as employees who are then hired out to other businesses. There is a large number of this type of business, too. The contract employees take a smaller salary in exchange for (usually) pathetic health and personal benefits partly due to the costs of running these agencies. Not an awesome trade-off.

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                • icon
                  urza9814 (profile), 14 Jan 2020 @ 12:58pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "The "company" at the center of the discussion is a larger business with all the freelancers as employees who are then hired out to other businesses. There is a large number of this type of business, too. The contract employees take a smaller salary in exchange for (usually) pathetic health and personal benefits partly due to the costs of running these agencies. Not an awesome trade-off."

                  In my experience, you'll have better pay and better benefits working for such a company than you'd get as a full-time employee for the client directly. Of course, you'll also be expected to be on-call 24/7, including holidays and during vacation time, with zero compensation...so going the FTE route is still generally much better.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 14 Jan 2020 @ 7:22am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Really what about the $800 yearly franchise tax? Is that cheap too

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2020 @ 12:42pm

      Re:

      You should probably try reading the article. Mike pointed out that forming a business was expensive (although I guess what's considered "expensive" could be somewhat subjective) and that the companies don't want to take the risk of hiring these enterprises.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2020 @ 12:59pm

        Re: Re:

        Mike is full of shit. It's $50 to start a business in California. That's not expensive by any reasonable standard.

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        • identicon
          coward (anon), 13 Jan 2020 @ 5:22pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Sorry but you are full of sh*t. $50 will get you a sole proprietorship which isn't a "company", it is just a DBA, a notice that "Fred's Fine Fresh Fish" is really "Fred Smith". That's enough to open a business, but it isn't a company in the sense that AB5 or other corporations mean.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2020 @ 9:11pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Not in California but did start a business. Lot more expensive then $50 and it is basically contractual work. You are look to at $400-$500 just to deal with the paperwork. The $50 or $45 here is usually just the license to allow you to do business.

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 1:14pm

      Re:

      Whether it's as quick and easy as you claim is irrelevant, it's a hurdle involving extra work and money that didn't exist before preventing people from working the jobs they had before for no gorram reason.

      That said, TD allows you to post without creating an account, which you took advantage of to leave your comment. Signing up for a TD account is quick and free(not just cheap), and yet you didn't do so.

      If 'it's quick and easy, so they should just jump through the hoops that weren't there before' is going to be your argument they I'd say put your money where your mouth is and sign up for an account to post. After all, it will take you minimal effort and zero money, so what's the problem?

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    • identicon
      cpt kangarooski, 13 Jan 2020 @ 2:28pm

      Re:

      Why don't the freelancers form a business though? It's not difficult, or expensive, or even time-consuming. Their former freelancer gigs then become legitimate contractor gigs, they keep doing the same work, problem solved.

      No it's not!

      Telling people to not have freelancing and to replace it by setting up sole proprietorships or other vehicles to accomplish the same thing is not a solution. It's just freelancing with extra steps!

      What is the actual goal of eliminating freelancing? Presumably, it is to move workers from freelancing positions with no job stability, no benefits, and low income to permanent positions that are relatively stable, come with benefits, and better pay.

      Circumventing it doesn't help with any of that unless the entity the contractor is an "employee" of is providing those things, which obviously isn't the case if it's just individuals using it to disguise their freelancing.

      This law might not be accomplishing what it intended to do, but rather than treat it as an obstacle and declare victory, its supporters should look for ways to actually accomplish their goals.

      For my part, I would suggest eliminating private benefits packages other than employee owned stock plans. Health care and old age and disability pensions should be covered by the government rather than by private entities that don't want to, aren't good at it, and aren't trustworthy.

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  • icon
    Norahc (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 12:42pm

    I wonder how AB5 will fare in the lawsuit brought by the trucking companies. They seem to have a pretty decent case against it.

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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 1:08pm

    Ignorance is what you don't know, denial what you won't know

    And she, without understanding these industries, keeps insisting that she knows better, and that they'd be better off with jobs they don't want.

    When she's reached the point that she is literally denying evidence shown straight to her face, calling others misguided at best if not flat out liars, she has more than lost any benefit of the doubt that she just 'doesn't understand'.

    At this point the assumption should be that she knows damn well what damage she's doing and either doesn't care, or sees it as worth it(though of course she's not honest enough to admit that), and the only question is to her motivations.

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    • identicon
      OGquaker, 13 Jan 2020 @ 9:02pm

      Re: Ignorance is what you don't know, denial what you won't know

      Ignor-ance is what you ignore, it's a verb.

      42 years ago i fell asleep getting to my 'Job' (read the book) and quit, I have been 'freelance' ever since.
      My father had quit the same company at the height of the 1930's Depression 42 years prior, to open his own film labritory. Pop got a 'Job' at 63, they laid him off at 81, to forgo paying him his retirement.
      Oddly, the most I was ever paid was unloading boxcars for two years. Long live Unions!
      Fortuitously for Lorena Gonzalez, being a liar is not criminal in this State.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Jan 2020 @ 10:19am

        Re: Re: Ignorance is what you don't know, denial what you won't

        film labritory

        I normally ignore terrible spelling but holy shit, dude.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
          identicon
          OGquaker, 14 Jan 2020 @ 1:35pm

          Re: Re: Re: Well, Excuse ME

          Webster (and David Sarnoff, and now Bill Gates) spent the later half of his life creating his 'diction'-ary too stratify America according to his vision of new country based on white cristian and class-based 'diction'. A sub-set of Quakers have spent generations replacing Webster's spelng and enunciation to thwart the required prerequisite of TWILVE YEARS of formal education before entering polite society; thus a peculiar and deliberate Quaker lingo and the resistance to the oppressor, manifested in Ebonics et.al.
          Have you a copie of the NBC dick-so-nary? I have. One People Of One Diction, devil take the hindmost.

          When I wrote a screenplay, I hired a PHD in linguistics to edit the thing and still got reamed for it's 'spelling'.

          To quote Daniel Webster: "The foundation of all free government and all social order must be laid in families and in the discipline of youth. Young persons must not only be furnished with knowledge, but they must be accustomed to subordination and subjected to the authority and influence of good principles. It will avail little that youths are made to understand truth and correct principles, unless they are accustomed to submit to be governed by them... And any system of education... which limits instruction to the arts and sciences, and rejects the aids of religion in forming the character of citizens, is essentially defective"...... "If God and His Word are not known and received, the devil and his works will gain the ascendancy; If the evangelical volume does not reach every hamlet, the pages of a corrupt and licentious literature will; If the power of the Gospel is not felt throughout the length and breadth of the land, anarchy and misrule, degradation and misery, corruption and darkness will reign without mitigation or end."

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        bhull242 (profile), 14 Jan 2020 @ 2:51pm

        Re: Re: Ignorance is what you don't know, denial what you won't

        First, ignorance is a noun, not a verb.

        Second, it is possible to ignore something without intending to. It’s a passive action.

        Third, ignorance can be willful or not.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2020 @ 2:42pm

    Because of her I will be sure to vote her out in June Im jobless and homeless because of her

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Jan 2020 @ 10:19am

      Re:

      Can you vote without a permanent address?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Jan 2020 @ 12:35pm

        Re: Re:

        www.sos.ca.gov/
        "Courts have ruled that a homeless person may register to vote at a location they state is the place where they spend most of their time. The person must provide a description of the location that is clear enough for the elections official to establish that person's right to vote in a particular precinct."

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2020 @ 2:50pm

    People of this country should be able to kick these abusive politicians right out of the government if not completely out of the country.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    bob, 13 Jan 2020 @ 2:54pm

    you dont mess with someone's livelihood.

    The cavalier attitude she displays towards her own constituents is just begging for her to be removed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      bob, 13 Jan 2020 @ 2:55pm

      Re: you dont mess with someone's livelihood.

      I should clarify that you shouldn't carelessly mess with someone's livelihood. There are reasons for certain jobs to disappear over the course of time.

      But how she just ignores the facts is the problem.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Vermont IP Lawyer (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 4:09pm

    New Lawsuit Trying to Block AB5

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    tom (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 4:49pm

    Wonder if the job of California Assemblywoman could be considered a freelance position? They aren't hired in the traditional sense of applying for a position. They are selected from a list of one or more volunteers on a public ballot and show up and start doing stuff.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2020 @ 5:19pm

      Re:

      Well, given her cavalier attitude towards what defines a real job, it's clear Gonzalez doesn't consider her position to be a real job...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2020 @ 7:10pm

    My daughter graduated last year, found a reporting job for a news outlet as a freelancer and have been so excited to start hew new career - not even 6 months, this idiot has the audacity to end her career before it takes a hold. Does know what she is doing to so many people?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 10:09pm

      Re:

      No no, you must be mistaken, did you not read the above article talking about the assemblywoman making clear that people aren't losing jobs because of her bill? I mean, she obviously couldn't be grossly dishonest and/or in denial, so a loss of a job can't be her fault. /s

      Does know what she is doing to so many people?

      Wrong question. She knows, she was presented with multiple examples of just that, the question is does she care, and the answer to that seems to be 'no'.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    bobob, 14 Jan 2020 @ 3:07am

    Apparently, the law was not written carefully enough, but companies who classify what are really employees as independent contractors needs to be stopped. Also, contrary to the Techdirt article, ity is not complicated or expensive to set up a business. In fct, according to the small business administration, if you are a freelance writer, you are a sole proprietorship. Give your business a name and register the names and you are all set.

    Setting up as an LLC or even a C corporation costs just a few hundred dollars. So, I don't buy the excuse that setting up a business is too complicated or expensive. It's only complicated for companies who want to classify employees as independent contractors.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Rocky, 14 Jan 2020 @ 3:34am

      ABC-Test

      Under this test, a worker is properly considered an independent contractor to whom a wage order does not apply only if the hiring entity establishes: (A) that the worker is free from the control and direction of the hirer in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for the performance of such work and in fact; (B) that the worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business; and (C) that the worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as the work performed for the hiring entity.

      In other words, I'm not sure getting a sole proprietorship is enough to pass the ABC-test.

      Also, setting up an LLC/C corp in itself isn't expensive - but you fail to take the running administrative costs into consideration which can amount to several thousands of dollars per year.

      But I think the real reason this law was passed is because of this passage:

      In recent years, the relevant regulatory agencies of both the federal and state governments have declared that the misclassification of workers as independent contractors rather than employees is a very serious problem, depriving federal and state governments of billions of dollars in tax revenue and millions of workers of the labor law protections to which they are entitled.

      Quotes from https://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/archive/S222732.PDF

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 15 Jan 2020 @ 1:44am

        Re: ABC-Test

        I don't see a probem with the ABC test. It defines a contractor in the usual way one defines a contractor.

        In other words, I'm not sure getting a sole proprietorship is enough to pass the ABC-test.

        Why not? It qualifies as a business. You just need to register your business name. Contractors are business that may or may not have their own employees and operate independently under contract. Uber employees are not contractors by any stretch of the imagination. The test ought to be that the service and the money are an arms length transaction.

        Also, setting up an LLC/C corp in itself isn't expensive - but you fail to take the running administrative costs into consideration which can amount to several thousands of dollars per year.

        Nonsense. I set up a C corpration in Texas 15 years ago and it was $400.00. Administration consists of designating officers, even if it's just 1, taking minutes every month, and deciding how many shares to issue (to yourself if you are the only person). There were no Administrative costs to speak of, nor was any real time required for any administrative work.

        We had a half dozen people and I can't recall ever spending much time or effort on administrative bullshit beyond paying yearly for the franchise fee. And that is a C corporation. An LLC or a sole proprietorship or a partnership is much easier.

        It also isn't necessary to even set up the corporation in any particular state. There are 8 zillion corporations registered in Delaware that have nothing to do with Delaware. Delaware is a tax haven for corporations, so it might even be advantageous. The state of Delaware advertises being able to set up your own LLC online, in minutes.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Wage Slave, 14 Jan 2020 @ 4:48am

    AB5 and IR35

    The UK is going through a similar problem with contractors being denied the ability to work due to HMRC's implementaiton of IR35 and private sector roll-out.

    https://www.itcontracting.com/barclays-ir35-limited-company/

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      genghis_uk (profile), 14 Jan 2020 @ 10:42am

      Re: AB5 and IR35

      The difference in the UK is that the contractors already run their own Ltd companies, with all of the expense that requires (accountants, corporation tax, employer national insurance etc.).

      Now the nice people at HMRC (the UK IRS) want to tax the contractor's company as if it were an employee. As well as corporation tax on profits, the company would have to pay income tax on its invoices. Without any of the employee benefits!

      While I am off piste anyway - in the UK, unions are very political - they basically run the Labour party so for roughly half the time they have an extremely strong lobby.

      Meanwhile, back in the US....

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jan 2020 @ 8:04am

    "I reject your reality and substitute my own."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Hugo S Cunningham (profile), 14 Jan 2020 @ 10:20am

    SCotUS has ruled (1995) for freelance writers getting paid

    [repost of comment I made to earlier article on this subject]

    United States v. Treasury Employees, 513 U.S. 454 (1995)

    The 1995 case has a similarity to California's impending regulation: Freelance writers being treated as acceptable collateral damage in political struggles that did not concern them. In 1995, SCotUS ruled that freelance authors (and presumably artists) enjoy special protections under the First Amendment. Proposed laws that infringe their livelihood are subject to extra scrutiny, to ensure they are tailored to the minimum required to meet a valid government purpose.

    In 1989, there was a political panic about Congressional book deals-- influential Congressmen making bulk sales of mediocre books to lobbyists, as a way to get around income limitations. Congress responded with typical overkill-- a ban on book payments not just to Congressmen and other senior policy-makers, but also to 1,700,000 rank-and-file Federal employees. If your letter-carrier wanted, in his spare time, to supplement his income with paid lectures on local history, he would be out of luck.

    Justice John Paul Stevens wrote the opinion throwing out this ban, far too broad for any reasonable anti-corruption purpose. (He suggested Congress could try again with a bill restricted to senior policy-makers.)

    Justice Stevens specifically rejected an argument likely to be made by California officials-- that free speech can be exercised under the First Amendment even if the speaker cannot be paid. In the real World, a payment ban means less speech. Speakers have to make a living like everyone else.

    "Publishers compensate authors because compensation provides a
    significant incentive toward more expression.

    Footnote 14:
    "This proposition is self-evident even to those who do not fully >accept Samuel Johnson's cynical comment: " 'No man but a >blockhead ever wrote, except for money.' " J. Boswell, Life of >Samuel Johnson LL.D. 302 (R. Hutchins ed. 1952)."

    https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/513/454#fn2-1

    California legislators believe the "gig economy" (freelancing) is abusive to broad categories of workers. Under the First Amendment, however, they either have to exempt freelance authors, or tailor special regulations to maximize opportunities for free expression.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    jonathan (profile), 14 Jan 2020 @ 1:17pm

    Lorena Gonzalez MUST GO

    This woman is complete and utter trash...she shows nothing but disdain for her constituents and thinks she runs the State...she must go San Diego.... she is everything wrong with politics... and yes she is a Labor organizer and if you take a look into her financial contributions you will notice that right before forcing children to get potentially life threatening vaccinations she received the second highest donation form Pharma (the bills author Senator Pan was the leader in pharma donations as he has been since SB277... and she received a hefty endorsement and check form the unions when AB5 launched... she is a pay for play politician and a gross revolting human being

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Hugo S Cunningham (profile), 14 Jan 2020 @ 1:57pm

      Re: Lorena Gonzalez MUST GO

      that right before forcing children to get potentially life threatening vaccinations > she received the second highest donation form Pharma

      Are you one of her supporters, playing a deep game? Anti-vaxxing is not a vote-getter here...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Samatha, 14 Jan 2020 @ 7:40pm

    The system is completely dysfunctional

    I agree with @bobob The law was poorly conceived and executed. I don't support contract-work that's actually employee-work. Wall Street earns big on the backs of gig workers.

    Capitalism sucks for most of us, but with nothing to replace it, of course people are going to convince themselves they "like the flexibility."

    I do contract work, btw. But I don't have kids and a dog to feed, and a gigantic automobile to maintain.

    In continental Europe you hear the term "the precariat." Not in the US.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 14 Jan 2020 @ 10:53pm

    "First of all, it wasn't a job. Those aren't jobs. Those are freelance positions."

    They did work, they were paid for the work.
    Sounds like a job, gets taxed like a job.

    Perhaps the fine people of the state should fire their freelance representative who isn't doing a job for them but still demands to be paid like she is.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    bobob, 15 Jan 2020 @ 1:48am

    If you're an independent contractor, bite the bullet, set yourself as one, legally, and require those who hire you to treat you as one unless they want to hire you as an employee. If yu write articles, then sell them to different outlets, just as anyone contracted for X articles would.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 15 Jan 2020 @ 5:20am

    This is deliberate

    She then claims that (of course) unnamed translator companies have been telling her they love AB5 because other companies have been undercutting them by bringing in freelancers.

    The above comment suggests that she's actually out to screw freelancers in favour of people with permanent, full time jobs. What a disgrace!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Jan 2020 @ 7:32am

    AB5

    Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez has destroyed the careers and livelihood of hundreds of thousands of Californians with her AB 5 bill, which was signed by Governor Newsom. This is not about Uber it's about our right to work.

    It was revealed during Senate debate in September that the AFL-CIO wrote AB 5. This is how you build a dependent, enslaved workforce, a workforce that eventually becomes institutionalized, which then evolves into an unabashed socialist way of life. An institution not chosen by the people, but one forced upon them by legislation.

    AB5 was supposed to end exploitation of gig workers, but it's killing careers instead. Most independent contractors (many of whom are women, students, minorities, mothers, those who need flexibility etc.) choose that avenue by design.

    It's time to recall Gavin Newsom and Lorena Gonzalez!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Jan 2020 @ 8:11am

    Right or wrong, telling your constituents that you do not believe them ... is this some new way to garner votes from the public?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    bobob, 15 Jan 2020 @ 12:41pm

    The problem is that companies like uber want to have it both ways. They don't want their employees to be classified as employees and they don't want to contract with independent contractors who would not have to act like employees but then, uber could not treat like employees. By falsely designating them as independent contractors, all of the money flows through uber, which "officially" is then just a small number of individuals occupying a few offices.

    If the california bill was written poorly, contact your representative to fix the issues instead of trashing the bill to defeat its intent.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 15 Jan 2020 @ 8:52pm

      Theoretical good intent does not override actual damage

      The bill has already been trashed in the sense that it's total garbage, and with so many people coming forth talking about the damage it's done it should be trashed in the 'thrown into the shredder' as well.

      If the goal is good then great, kill the current bill as not doing the job and try again, perhaps after talking it over with the people likely to be impacted rather than just dismissing them as non-existent or liars.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    SirRichardPumpaloaf, 17 Jan 2020 @ 11:08am

    To be exempt requires way more than just "form a business"

    The actual law is available on-line. The "business to business" exception requires that:

    The contracted business be free from the control and direction of the contracting business in connection with the performance of their work, both under the contract for the performance of the work and in fact.

    The contracted business be providing services directly to the contracting business rather than to customers of the contracting business.

    The contract be in writing

    The contracted business be have a valid business license or business tax registration, if so required (work from home? I bet the city or county you live in wants $$$ from you to print out a permit once a year).

    The contracted business maintain a business location that is separate from the contracting business or work location.

    The contracted business be customarily engaged in an independently established business of the same nature as that involved in the work you perform for the contracting business.

    The contracted business actually contract with other businesses to provide the same or similar services and maintain a clientele without restrictions from the contracting business.

    The contracted business advertise and hold itself out to the public as available to provide the same or similar services.

    The contracted business provides your own tools, vehicles, and equipment to perform the services.

    The contracted business be able to negotiate their own rates.

    Consistent with the nature of the work, the contracted business can set its own hours and location of work.

    The contracted business is not performing the type of work for which a license from the Contractor’s State License Board is required, pursuant to Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 7000) of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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