Warnings from California, the Harms of Attacking Entrepreneurs
Aimee Benavides built a career for herself as a freelance translator and interpreter, balancing work with her parental duties as a mother of two. Her nine-year-old daughter has autism, and freelancing has given Aimee the freedom to manage homeschooling for her children and scheduling therapy appointments for her daughter while earning a living.
She worked hard to create a profitable home-business and worries that it will have been for nothing with the impact of Assembly Bill 5 *(see definition below).
As an independent contractor, Aimee is able to work when she sees fit, whether that means at 5:30 in the morning before her kids wake up, or at 10 a.m. if her kids had a rough night’s sleep. She works hard and balances it all because it benefits her family, offering flexibility that full-time employment would not give her. AB5 threatens that flexibility and her livelihood.
As an independent contractor, she has been able to set her own rates and negotiate her own terms, including cancellation fees. Aimee knows that if she were a full-time employee, she wouldn’t have these same benefits. For Aimee, the benefits that contracting offer her, and ultimately her family, far outweigh any benefit that full-time employment would bring.
*Assembly Bill (AB) 5 was recently signed into law in California and has had devastating effects on independent contractors and freelancers in the Golden State. AB5 replaces the common law test with the ABC test to determine whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor. Since the law went into effect on January 1, 2020, hiring entities are now required to classify workers as employees unless they meet all conditions of an ABC test.