A new California law, which modifies another that throughout the year generated protests from journalists and musicians, among other unions – by imposing that only 35 jobs be accepted a year – came into force on September 8.
Governor GavinNewsom signed AB 2257, which partially amended A B5, both from State Assemblywoman Lorena González of San Diego.
For more than eight months, AB5 put many independent California journalists, known as free agents, or freelancers into unemployment; as well as musicians, independent truckers, and small franchise owners.
AB5 indicated that if a company or employer requested more than that limit of 35 jobs from an independent employee, it would have to hire him, with all the benefits – such as vacations, health insurance and more, something that for many companies would be unaffordable .
The result was that many employers stopped requesting freelance services.
José Lebrija, a border freelancer who often works assignments commissioned by CNN, Telemundo and European channels, said AB5 “limited them.”
He indicated that some of the bases of the work of independent journalists is availability, in addition to professionalism.
“The media look to us because we work well, but we do not say no, regardless of the time or conditions in which the job is requested.”
So, working a few assignments over the course of a year “is not enough to live on. It is an attack, independent journalists would have to forget about journalism and dedicate themselves to something else, because you would no longer have the availability for work, “he said.
A couple of freelance photographers in San Diego even raised the possibility of moving out of state in order to keep their jobs.
Nelly Cervantes, also a freelance reporter, said she agrees with the original meaning of AB5 but not with the part that affected independent journalists, musicians and truckers, among others.
“The fundamental lawsuit is that the transport companies by applications hide behind the argument that they are not corporations in order not to pay payroll taxes and other benefits,” she said.
“It is not a question of prohibiting people from working, but some companies like Uber and Lyft hide behind the fact that they are not companies, but service platforms, so they do not pay significant taxes to the state, and do not contribute to unemployment insurance. “Said the reporter.
That seems to be the change that legislator González promoted by “exempting” unions from the AB5 that her law collaterally limited.