Warnings from California, the Harms of Attacking Entrepreneurs
Cecily Whiteside was making plans to expand her successful writing business, until she learned that Assembly Bill 5 *(see definition below) made it illegal for her to do so.
The marketing, writing, and editing expert ran a marketing writing company for years, which became so successful that she was in the process of bringing on three independent contractors to assist with her workload. Cecily has devoted her life to her business, growing it from the ground up, and was excited to expand, knowing that it would allow her to take on larger contracts and expand opportunities for her subcontractors. But AB5 has stalled the expansion, preventing her from hiring independent contractors to assist with writing and editing. The bill’s vague wording has also cast doubt in the mind of her clients based outside of California―the ambiguous language and lack of clarity around what constitutes a publication or a blog has caused clients to forgo renewing their contracts with Cecily out of fear of litigation.
Cecily believes AB5 is not only an overreach by the government, but also a potentially discriminatory act against women. As a mother of five children, she knows the value in setting her own schedule and having the financial freedom that contracting allows. She worries that under AB5, many women—who are often primary caretakers of children or other family members—will lose their opportunities to earn a living in a manner that suits their chosen lifestyles.
*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.