Nikole Wilson-Ripsom, Special Needs Parent and Freelancer
Warnings from California, the Harms of Attacking Entrepreneurs
Nikole is the parent of a special-needs teen and suffers from a disability herself. Though her disability does not qualify her for disability payments, it prevents her from being able to manage the majority of full-time employment opportunities. Her responsibilities as a caretaker for her son add another layer of difficulty to full-time employment.
When Nikole’s son was young, her income was solely reliant on her work as an independent contractor. Freelancing gave her the flexibility to be present for the more than 20 hours per week of behavioral and occupational therapy that her son requires. As her son got older and his therapy needs slowly decreased, Nikole was able to obtain a part-time job, but still continued to supplement her income by continuing to freelance.
Since the passage of Assembly Bill 5 *(see definition below), she has no longer been able to serve as an independent contractor. Her finances have suffered as a result, forcing her to end therapy for her son and cut back on the nutritional supplements that he benefited from. Nikole’s ability to give her son the treatments he needs to thrive has been harmed by AB5. She, like thousands of others, wonders why the government continues to advocate for the harmful bill, despite hearing from their constituents about its harm.
*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.