Gavin Newsom by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The freedom to work as an independent contractor provides flexibility for households and vibrancy to the American economy.

But California’s AB5 law imposed by Gov. Gavin Newsom has destroyed the dreams and livelihoods of countless Golden State households.

Below, please find 676 in-their-own-words examples of the harm done by AB5. Note, President Biden and congressional Democrats want to impose the same law nationwide via the PRO Act.

Miguel Ramirez, truck driver:“AB 5 would leave independent owner operators just two options: become an employee and lose all your liberty under someone else’s mandate, hours, and follow their policies, or jump ship and become your own company, but have to do all sorts of things that most truckers don’t want to do like regulatory stuff in an over-regulated and complex industry,” according to Ramirez. “It’ll kill the liberty of being a trucker and kill the American Dream.”

Anonymous ContractorOne independent contractor who serves the Port of Oakland said he would have to sell his house and move his family out of California if he’s forced to become an employee and be paid hourly.

“Have you seen the real estate prices for houses or rent in this state?” the 20-year port driver, who didn’t want to be named for fear of retaliation, told FreightWaves. “On a good day, I can make $1,200, but if I go to work for a company and they only pay me $25 an hour and also control the number of hours I can work, I can’t afford to feed my family.”

Carlos Flores: “It’s going to put us out of business. We’re fighting for the right to work.”

Rafael Quintero: AB5 is “an American dream killer.”

Quintero said: “Many port drivers come from poverty like I did and came to America to get away from being controlled by the government. These owner-operators are able to provide for their families and put aside money with the dream of eventually owning their own companies just like I did.”

Carlos Flores, truck driver: “It’s going to put us out of business. We’re fighting for the right to work.”

Kimberly Sulsar-Campos“We have owner-operators who want to be able to choose when they want to work and don’t want to be company drivers and be told by a company when they will work and decide how much they will be paid.”

Larry Dhaliwal: “They want to be free to work when they want to and not be forced to become company drivers.”

Hedayatullah Abrahami, Owner-Operator: “It’s a disaster for Hedayatullah Abrahami, who just bought his own truck a month ago. He — like other owner operators – spent tens of thousands of dollars to NOT be someone’s employee.”

Abrahami said: “That’s my own truck. Working for myself.”

Said Ahmedi: Ahmedi, a 47-year-old trucker and protester from Elk Grove, Calif., said he likes the freedom of being self-employed, but it would be too complicated to continue as an owner-operator under the new law.

Mr. Ahmedi said he earned almost $70,000 last year as an independent driver and was still able to take two, monthlong trips to visit family and in-laws in Afghanistan and Azerbaijan.

“If I am a working driver I am stuck with the company.”

Sandra Lira, RPR Trucking“We also see that they did exempt like hairdressers, lawyers, doctors, dentists. Why are they only attacking the trucking industry? This will cost the consumer more money in the long run because we’re gonna lose half of our fleet with all the trucking companies.”

Josue Mendez“An owner-operator becomes an owner-operator because they want to be their own boss.”

Bill Aboudi, owner of AB Trucking in Oakland: “There’s 9,000 trucks that serve the port on a daily basis, and 90% of them are independent contractors. So, this is a big, big impact.”

Aboudi again: “I will have to take less work and charge more.”

Ricardo Gil: Owner-Operator from Oakland: “Sometimes you’ve just got to think real hard, do I need this headache?”

Anonymous truck driver: One independent contractor who serves the Port of Oakland said he would have to sell his house and move his family out of California if he’s forced to become an employee and be paid hourly.

“Have you seen the real estate prices for houses or rent in this state?” the 20-year port driver, who didn’t want to be named for fear of retaliation, told FreightWaves. “On a good day, I can make $1,200, but if I go to work for a company and they only pay me $25 an hour and also control the number of hours I can work, I can’t afford to feed my family.”

Cindy Lopez: “We worked for a company that served the ports of LA/LB that offered us some benefits and paid for diesel fuel and permit costs, but we also got paid peanuts, didn’t get to choose our loads, and instead of owning the whole pizza, we only got a slice.

Instead, we worked hard to save our money to become owner-operators and purchase our own trucks. Yes, we are aware that we incur more costs as owner-operators, but we’re no longer company drivers and we get paid as business owners.”

Gordon Reimer, Manager of FHE Express: “How can I blame these drivers who now find out that their dream is being snatched away from them all because they’re based here in the state of California?”

Anonymous California Trucker: “During the pandemic, we were too busy being essential to realize we were about to be screwed by AB5,” the California trucker, who didn’t want to be named for fear of retaliation, told FreightWaves.

Elizabeth M. Adger: “AB5 is why I had to pack up my very ill husband with stage 4 cancer and autistic son and leave the state. There is no way I can take care of our family and work a “traditional” type job. I have always worked for myself and paid my taxes. I was terrified of becoming homeless.”

Haley Crim: “I have been doing freelance writing since I finished my master’s degree in May of 2018. Since April of 2018, I have been dealing with unexplained health issues, with nausea and vomiting in the morning and a myriad of other symptoms that could be indicative of fibromyalgia. I lost the career and relationship I was building with a content writing company and making far above minimum wage with. Now I am trying to find any job as I only have about $2K in savings and can’t do what I love, which is writing. In addition, it will be difficult to find a job that is flexible enough for my symptoms and doctors appointments. Some days I wake up feeling like I was hit by a truck. The great thing about freelance and contract work is that I can choose how much work I take on, and choose not to work on the days that I don’t feel up to it, and still earn a living.”

E Alan Hyman: “As a personal fitness trainer at a retirement community’s gym facilities that was diagnosed with stage 3B colon cancer 10 years ago, 6 months of sever chemotherapy back in 2010-2011 has left me with physical issues that just don’t allow me to work full time. Being an independent contractor gave me the ability to set a work schedule that my body could handle and make enough to support myself by only working a few hours a day. Now I have to change to an hourly employee which is forcing me to raise rates to accommodate all the withholding that is taken out, at the same time, restricting me to less then 30 hours a week so my employer doesn’t have to pay full time benefits. There are a bunch of other ways were AB5 seems to adversely affect my job, but that would take too long to go into.”

Anonymous:  “I run a Christmas Caroling company and will probably have to let about a third of my carolers go and make the rest employees. I will have about 50 employees that I pay one month of the year. And 2020 will probably be the last year I operate this business since I will have to raise rates at least 20% to pay those additional costs, and so I expect to book much fewer gigs than the 160 gigs I booked in 2019.

Debbie Uecker-Keough: “I work for a large mega church as a production manager. So I’m already on staff. But all the contractors are having to be brought on staff. As an example our video director for weekends this is what happened to her, she charged a flat daily rate. Someone in HR placed her in a tier, which became nearly 60% of her day rate. HR wouldn’t budge as they said she was an entry level part time worker and thats the highest tier she fit into. Now this video director (who we are giving more hours to to let her make up for the pay loss) has to make less, work more, and all her deductions to travel to and from the job are no longer write offs. AB5 has screwed anyone who was an independent.”

Alicia Dattner: “I just got my first notice that I won’t be getting paid for a big comedy gig I’m doing because of AB5, but of course I need to do the gig anyway if I want to be considered for a run at this venue. This could be just the start?  I do more theaters now than comedy clubs, but I imagine this will be extremely complicated for anyone wanting to do any one-off comedy gig – how would that even work? And for the clubs? One-offs and weekends are their whole biz! I also can’t even imagine a law now telling me that a company or person I work for one night is now the IP owner of the hour of jokes I just wrote. That’s beyond insane.

Anonymous: “There are many forensic RNs who work on a 1099 basis for private nursing companies and hospitals providing sexual assault forensic medical evidentiary examinations.  All of this work is at risk due to AB5. Patients who have been sexually assaulted will suffer long wait times and may receive substandard forensic medical exams if provided by untrained medical personnel in an emergency department. It is not feasible for many hospitals to have a forensic nurse on duty 24/7 so they contract with us to come in when needed. We are paid per exam, and receive a 1099. The forensic nurses are free to sign up for work around their other jobs or family commitments. We also have patients who were assaulted in skilled nursing and adult care group homes. We have worked very hard to increase the number of forensic nurses in California. I also do consulting and training on best practices for forensic nursing. Vicarious trauma among forensic nurses is a huge issue in this work. I’ve been told I’ll have to get a business license in order to keep working as a trainer and consultant, but I live in a rural area outside of city limits and my county does not provide or require business licenses for my type of work (I called and they said basically unless it involves hazardous waste or a few other very narrow industries, businesses licenses are not an option). The other alternative is to incorporate. I do not make enough money to incorporate.”

Cindy Shea: “I am a bandleader of over two decades, two-time Grammy Award winner, and11 time Grammy nominee. I have played trumpet since I was 8 years old and I am 45 years old now. I am a music producer, engineer, composer, arranger, music publishing owner, record label owner, and a corporate business owner of 20 years with Mariachi Divas Inc. where I have provided work for hundreds of successful musicians. I wear many hats and play many roles in order to make the ends meet as a SINGLE mother of 2 sons with NO child support help!  Thanks to this not only myself but hundreds of hard working TAX paying musicians will now be forced to go back underground for cash gigs, and leave me here to figure out and question why I ever followed the law and created a small business to create the American dream and create jobs for so many others. Two decades of my business destroyed because I have no one who wants to work for me now. Thank you for destroying successful Women’s and Men’s dreams across the globe Ms. Lorena. Maybe you can explain to my children why everything in their lives is about to change ?!?!!?

Gina Peck-Sobolewski:  “I’ve been in contact with our local reps and advocacy groups for mental health. I’m a MFT who can no longer contract therapists or work as a contracted therapist. A large part of the behavioral healthcare industry is built upon the contractor relationship. We, in essence, contract with commercial insurance providers. Again, a major part of AB5 that was not thought through and it is affecting the mental health accessibility of millions of Californians. This undermines the affordable healthcare act and affects the mental health of many. I know I’m preaching to the choir but I’m advocating on all ends.”

Celesta Rannisi: “What hospital or company is going to hire me to do home births?! I am a freelance independent home-birth midwife! Licensed by the state of CA. And registered with the North American Registry of Midwives! Lorena you’re killing me by taking away my livelihood! I have been serving women 34 years! There is no transitioning available for me at my age of 62.”

Marianthe Bezzerides; “I have a music lesson company in Los Angeles that I single handedly built and managed, by myself, for the past 6 years. I have been contracted with many music teachers over the years who have enjoyed the flexibility in their schedule while they pursue composing, performing and other teaching gigs. The pay rate is three times the minimum wage in California and we have fantastic families that we work with. AB5 threatens my ability to stay in business unless I cut teacher’s pa y and take away the flexibility that they have come to enjoy, or raise the rates on all of the families. We’ll undoubtedly lose business from parents who are striving to provide quality music lessons for their kids, who won’t be able to afford the new tuition increase. For me personally, this comes at a time in my life when I’m not in the position to go get a job if my business goes under as I have a new 4 month old to take care of. There is going to be a huge ripple effect across the economy in California because so many small businesses will hand to shut down, cut contractor pay or raise rates. My guess is that a lot of services will just disappear.

Megan Kellie: “I am a nurse practitioner. The result of AB5 is closing medical offices and leaving a huge gap in medical care. Many doctors offices in rural health rely on nurse practitioners to keep their doors open as it is a small pool of people to choose from for full time status. This is many doctors offices in general. Small, private practices. It hurts them. Many offices are closing.It hurts me substantially as a provider. Being an independent contractor has allowed me to have a flexible schedule allowing me to spend  more time with my children. I do not live near family that can help with child care. This will be a huge impact on my family and causing more expenses to us. Furthermore, now that the larger companies are aware of this law, they have all squashed our pay and took away our ability to negotiate salary. Nurse practitioners are healthcare professionals and should be treated as such.”

Elizabeth Tobias: “I’m an Artist in Residence, Teaching Artist and Expressive Arts Therapist. I facilitate therapeutic art to underserved populations. I’m a working mom and must set my own schedule so I can be available for my daughter and all of her activities. I just lost a summer teaching job that I was really counting on because of AB5 as they are no longer able to hire independent artists. I called Lorena Gonzales office to share my story and they hung up on me as I was speaking.I feel overwhelmed and powerless. The political climate has been stressful enough. AB5 is harming me emotionally and financially. I want my freedom back!

Cori George: “I have a craft blog. I have several different “virtual assistants” who do all sorts of blogging tasks for me (writing, SEO research, admin, social media, etc.). Basically all the things that are affected by the “B” part of this law. Two of my VAs are in California (so am I). One of my VAs has more than a dozen bloggers that she works for. Which means she’s basically screwed (like so many people in here). These bloggers aren’t going to hire her as a W2 employee. She picked up this work so that she could stay at home and be with her daughter while picking up jobs on the side to help support her family. She doesn’t want to be an employee. She wants the flexibility to work when she can and take time off if she needs. Goodbye side hustle. On my end, I don’t want to hire an employee. My blog can be seasonal—I need more help during busy seasons and less during slow seasons. I change the types of work I do month to month, depending on the whims of Google and Pinterest and their algorithms. And because bloggers do, well, basically everything, the “B” requirement makes it impossible to hire any contract worker except maybe a CPA. You can add bloggers and virtual assistants to the list of people unduly affected by this law.

Karen Jackson-Fox: “I work with East Bay Children’s Theater in Oakland. We are a group that does a tour once a year to title one schools in Oakland and Richmond. We have been around since 1933. We are a non-profit that relies on donations, volunteers, and the tickets we sell for the few public performances we have. The board is stressing about AB5, we don’t have a lot of extra cash. Next year we may cancel for the first time in decades. I’m hoping for a miracle, as this is the only opportunity most of these kids have to experience live theater. I love the flexibility of freelance work and working for many companies that bring theater to kids.”

Lynn, tweeted by Kevin Kiley: “#AB5stories, Lynn: “I’m a transcriptionist. I work from home and love it. I’m not able to work outside the home now and wouldn’t want to. I choose what work I want and when to work. After #AB5, the companies I work with had to cut off their CA workers. We lost our livelihood.”

Candy Ibarra: “Candy Ibarra had six jobs at the beginning of 2020. Now she has none. By March, with a pandemic-stricken economy in free fall, a Target commercial in which she was going to perform was canceled, as were at least six other Hollywood projects. Non-acting jobs she had to help pay the bills, as a private investigator and a translator, dried up because of travel restrictions and bans on outsiders in courts and hospitals.”

Marsha, tweeted by Kevin Kiley: “#AB5stories, Marsha: “I lost my job of 12 years as a medical transcriptionist because of #AB5. Many in this profession value the flexibility in hours and working from home more than employee status. Now I have no money at all.“”

Susan, tweeted by Kevin Kiley: “#AB5stories, Susan: “I’ve worked as a court reporter since 1992. #AB5 has upended my career. I WANT to be independent. I can work with up to 30 agencies a year. Some I only work with once. I want to set my own hours, what depositions I choose to report, where I choose to work.”

Marina, tweeted by Kevin Kiley: “#AB5stories, Marina: “I’m a certified court interpreter. I’ve been very happily freelancing for 15 years. I can choose which agencies to work with, and work as much or as little as I want to spend time with my 3-year-old. #AB5 is destroying my wonderful work/life combo.”

Marion, tweeted by Kevin Kiley: “#AB5stories, Marion: “I’m a freelance translator and have clients who suspended all working relationships with California translators because of #AB5. Add COVID-19 and my income is down nearly 60% from last year. Repealing AB5 would take at least one of these strains away.”

Courtney Johnson: “I have been a freelance (read: independent contractor) for after school theatre programs and a theatrical technical designer for well over a decade. AB5 is endangering most of those programs to close their doors. These are tiny non-profit arts organizations who give children somewhere safe to go after school, let them express themselves, give them confidence to find and use their voices. I am against shutting down after school programs that give children a safe place to go, and when these kids are left to the streets. I have negotiated my own contracts for years, and prefer being able to pick and choose where and when I contract. Out of the dozens of groups I’ve contracted with over my career, only two have been eligible to be union theatres, and it wasn’t worth it to join since they don’t guarantee you work, they just take your dues and I didn’t have the hours logged to join anyhow. Read: I was not eligible to join a union. The theatres/theatre groups I have contracted with are not large enough to have union contracts. There are no unions for after school arts programs –and there don’t need to be since most contracts only last a few days a year.”

Tessa Cisneros: “I am a movement instructor for studio and afterschool programs, and refuse to become an employee so they are replacing me. My heart breaks.

Valerie Talcott Fausone: “I work with large rescues and small shelters and they can’t hire me. At a time when Governor Newsom made the brave and correct call to create a No Kill California, I was all set to consult on this, given I have seven years of safe, no-kill public sheltering experience. Now I cannot consult with shelters looking to improve their results. IRONY! I have to move out of California and work for other no-kill shelters in Austin, Texas, as one example. As a third-generation Californian, I think this is unreasonable and cruel.

Liam Murphy: “I’m a freelance architectural designer (28 years old). I have a professional architecture degree from a top 10 program. Licensing requirements (to be an Architect) in the states include hours logged on the job, as well as passing 6 national exams, and 1 additional exam required by California. So I am in this intermediate period that all architects go through, where they are professionals (out of school, working full time), but not yet fully licensed. Two years ago I left my salaried desk job at a San Francisco firm. The primary reason was to focus full time on my exams, and I finished the national exams within the year. The other reason was to take on an addition and remodel project for my parents. We are redesigning a family home so my parents can retire and remain in their home as they get older. Managing this project is somewhere between a part-time and full-time job in terms of time commitment. I would not be able to work an additional full time and still run this project by myself. After about a year (beginning of 2019), my former employer contacted me and asked if I would be interested in freelance work. We met and negotiated terms. We mutually agreed on an hourly contract. I was bringing in far more money per hour than when I left that firm 1 year earlier. It was a good deal for me and they clearly needed someone they could trust to get work done fast without having to be trained. Mutually beneficial. As I look to complete my last California exam and become a licensed architect, I hope at some point to start my own firm and practice as an architect. Everything I was doing was in advancement of that goal. The money I was able to bring in with the freelance work was enough to support myself, while giving back to my parents with rewarding personal work. Not to mention the improvements in my mental health due to the lifestyle shift of not working long hours in an office. Now, due to AB5, my contract with that architecture firm is on “indefinite hiatus” until they feel comfortable that they can work with me legally. In addition to my existing workload, I now need to do extensive unpaid research into the law, whether I should become a corporation, how things change when I transition from an unlicensed designer to an architect, etc. Meanwhile money is not coming in, and I am back to burning savings (which for the time being is WORTH IT since I love what I am doing). I am not stupid, or a freeloader, or a tax cheat, and it’s frustrating that the state would treat me as one, when I all I want to do is become the best version of myself I can be so that I can be of some service to my community.

Kevin Matty: “I have lost over 50% of my 2018 income since the implementation of AB5 compared to my 2019 income. Now my clients that I’ve had for years don’t want to give me too much work because they’d have to hire me as an employee and cannot afford it.”

Chelsea Hardaway: “Billion dollar companies that used to pay anywhere from $50,000-$100,000 for rebranding, positioning exercises, brand collateral, marketing pieces, blog posts, infographics, content marketing or marketing strategy are now afraid to hire freelancers and will only work with big agencies.  Most of the best creatives want to be independent and come together in fluid teams as it fits various projects — without having to charge high agency fees for overhead.  These people will lose their livelihood. I already have a business license and $1M business insurance. Am now going to have to hire attorneys and accountants and set up a corporation that pays payroll and holds worker’s compensation insurance for a desk job I do from home (and I already carry the aforementioned biz insurance). It’s an unnecessary burden for a sole proprietor and will make my costs of being in business much higher … in order to do business with billion dollar companies and make them feel safe?  Unfair burden on the sole proprietor. Additionally, most tech companies (all companies!) in the Bay Area have a voracious need for content they can email and put on the internet to attract new clients. They don’t have the resources or expertise in house so they outsource a lot of that to freelancers.

Lili VonSchtupp:  “I am a 54-year-old disabled female burlesque dancer, emcee, magician, and producer. AB5 has cut me off from income as a performer and as a producer. With 8 minutes work as a dancer on stage, it’s impossible to characterize me as an employee. I work for some companies one a year. I create my own acts, should be allowed to own the intellectual property of my art, and write off my costumes and business expenses. As a producer, I can’t hire anyone either as they are all like me. You are killing the arts. AB5 has devastated my coming back to work after being diagnosed with a degenerative illness. I can’t be hired at 40 hour a week job as I can not have the flexibility to deal with my illness or receive an hourly pay rate to survive part time. I also can’t drive. I am the textbook small business entrepreneur. AB5 has effectively made it impossible for me to work and support myself with dignity. I ran LA’s number one weekly burlesque show for 12 years and now I sit home writing my elected representatives begging for the right to work.

Pegi Scarlett: “I am a cancer registrar and own my own company. I contract with hospitals to provide services so they comply with the California Health and Safety code 103885 (mandatory reporting of all cancer cases). My company and all the ICs are at risk and so is the cancer reporting system, as many hospitals contract out this work.  REPEAL AB5!

RL Crabb: “I may end up being a part timer if we can’t get an exemption, but that will mean as an employee my commentary (cartoons) won’t be just “my opinion” anymore. I value my independent voice as much as the income I receive.

Kira Davis: “I’m an editor and was set to hire a new cartoonist for our national blog. She got a letter from the parent company at the beginning of December welcoming her to the team. 12/31 she got a letter from our NY-based parent company that she can no longer be hired as she is in California, and AB5 makes doing business with contractors here too dangerous. Bye bye job. Some people have theories and legal opinions about this bill. Some of us have real life experiences. Guess who’s is worth more?

Sandi Grossman Buehner: “Most casting assistants work only if there is work and like to decide on the projects they accept. I just finished a “real person” casting at the end of 2019. Now, I cannot offer my services because Casting Directors would have to hire me as an employee. The last job I worked a grand total of 14 hours. A bit less than two eight-hour days. I set my own hours. I worked from my home. No one was looking over my shoulder and directing how I do my work, and yet, I still wouldn’t qualify for the conditions of business to business!

Dana Buchanan: “We do all sizes of events, mostly in the 50 to 200 guest range. Every now and then we’ll have a 1,000-person event. I bring in independent contractors to work one day and this law says I have to bring them into my payroll. For ONE EVENT, I would have to bring on 100 people into payroll. Insane.

Dan Fung: “Doctors of Chiropractic are not exempt so basically they discriminated within the healthcare system. I just lost a contract where I would ironically treat injured workers and help them get back to work.

Monica Fontes: “I am 61 years old senior female and cancer survivor( maybe still patient). AB5 destroyed my life, taking my 8years over the phone interpreter job. Who will hire a sick senior like me? I was making a good money, taking my breaks when I feel like. During my chemotherapy this job was my salvation against depression, made me feel useful and when I was interpreting I not even had time to think about any bad things happening in my life. Helping people in hospitals, pharmacies, hotels, rental companies, immigration agencies and much more. Since January I live depression, somedays I don’t have strength to get up in the morning, I just crawl and cry, bc for 8 years I been waking up to log in and start to work. Sometimes I wish I could die. My name is Monica and this is my #AB5 story.”

Mary Bronson: “Here’s a story. I lost my client on 2/12/20 because of AB 5. I am a legal transcriptionist working from home. I have worked all my life. I am 69 years old and due to health problems I can no longer work outside of my home. Speakwrite gave me the chance to continue to work by allowing me to work my hours at home.  It also supplemented my social security and paid for ever increasing costs of insulin and other medical bills not covered by Medicare. I am devastated emotionally and financially over the inability to continue to work and support the economy.

Michelle Risling: “I am a temporary, interim choir director at a church while they look for a new permanent director. I am not at all interested in being permanent and I like the flexibility of being a conductor by the “gig.” I’m only there for 6ish weeks. I still have to go through the whole song and dance of payroll to become an actual employee, costing the church an additional approximately 40% to hire me. I’m fortunate they’re willing to do it, even though I don’t want it and neither do they. This law is SO dumb.

Christina Alexopoulos Smith: “I am a paid singer at a church and it is my only source of income currently. I am a freelance singer so basically I will not be hired for any gigs going forward. So much for bringing arts to the community and enriching people’s lives.

Rachel Dorsey: “I’m a commercial producer and I bring on self-employed specialists for every job I produce. We work with extremely tight (read: no) margins. Every single one of us is a small business owner. We’ve been able to make it because we support each other by bringing on the right expert for the right project in a growing community of self-employed creatives, artists and technicians. None of us want to be employed. We’ve worked so hard for so long to “make it” as a self employed person and finally – now that we are – we’re being told that we actually aren’t business owners and we actually can’t have the American dream of self employment. Our customers aren’t going to be willing to pay 30% more, and the experts we bring in shouldn’t have to take 30% less. At a time when creative services are finally having their moment, we’re being snuffed out.”

Cat Kenison Erickson: “I am a Freelance Costume Designer in the Inland Empire and work with local community theaters. On average, I design 4-5 shows per year. While not my primary job, it does make up 10% of my annual income and was vital in maintaining my family when my husband was laid off in 2013. I am required to fill out a W-9 for each theater company and pay my taxes accordingly. AB5 has already cost me one job opportunity and may cost me the rest. Much of the work I do is for Children’s Theater and typically I work with 50-80 children on each show. Many of these children are involved in theater for the first time and these experiences enrich their lives for a lifetime. Art is vital to a vibrant community and so is my part in creating that art. I have my MFA in Design from USC and am trained to be a professional Theatrical Designer. I choose to work in community theater and share my training and talents with these kids. If these Theater Companies are forced to close because of AB5, the access to the Arts for these children is in jeopardy. More than my paycheck is at stake here. AB5 would reduce the opportunities for communities in the Inland Empire to experience live theatre. My work as a Freelance Designer does not pass the “ABC test”, While I negotiate my fee and can negotiate my time as well, as a trained professional, I know what is needed and expected of me as a designer and there are dates and times I must attend. I am heartsick over the possible loss of these opportunities, not just for me but the very real possibility that a mall, community based theater companies, dance companies, and music groups may be forced to shut down. Many young designers cut their teeth in community theater and summer programs before going on to become professional theatrical Designers. Limiting their opportunities to hone and improve their craft ultimately harms the industry at large. AB5 is like cutting off your hand because you have a bad paper cut; it does more harm than good.

Larissa Lam Chiu: “I’m a composer and musician and many in our industry have major concerns. I spoke to a major film composer friend of mine today who is now reluctant to hire independent orchestrators and musicians in CA for his projects because of AB5. He plans to turn to people outside CA or even outside US. Also heard about an arranger/musician who regularly contracted with a theater company for all their productions for over a decade in L.A. they have officially cut ties with him because of AB5 and they did not want to risk failure of complying. it was not practical to bring him on as an employee since their productions are seasonal.

Anonymous: “I’m a sole member LLC in CA working as an independent composer arranger. and producer. I’ve had my business 25 years. I’m also the mom of a 7 yr old son, I’m the primary caregiver during the week. I cannot get a full-time salaried job with my responsibilities to my son. I have a client whose mom is an attorney. I’ve been working with them 5 years and they said they’re unable to use me until this mess is cleaned up for the music industry even though I’m an LLC. And for every job I lose it represents 2-30 other jobs lost for players, singers, engineers. Income lost for commercial recording studios. I’m forced to go dark for a while and try to live on my passive income (50-60% of my total income) because I can’t figure out how to comply with the law and hire the players. I’ve spoken with two lawyers and two accountants over the last two weeks and they all have different interpretations of what AB5 means.  If the professionals who are supposed to be experts in interpreting the law can’t even definitively understand it, how on earth can a small business owner understand it let alone comply with it?  My only recourse is not to work on anything that requires hiring anyone for a month and hope and pray this mess gets sorted out.  This is like living in a surreal scary novel.  This law is anti-small business.  The huge corporations in the music industry can afford to proceed with business as usual.  They have powerful legal departments who can and will fight this for as long as it takes in court if they get slapped.  I can not afford this risk.

Angie Paterson: “General Consultants are impacted. I tested data technology, machine learning, evaluated social media, and ad content. I was a subcontractor to a company hq’d in Australia who contracted with other very large companies to provide project support. I was a general consultant working on all sorts of unique projects. It allowed me flexibility volunteer in my community and my children’s school, support our other businesses and provide additional income while also being able to care for my school aged son. All CA contracts were cancelled for all projects and those contracts were just taken to individuals in other states. Exemptions won’t cut it. My company will not rewrite their their contracts for exemptions as frankly, they don’t have to because they can just blackball CA based ICs and not deal with the risk and ambiguity of this crap law. So even though I am a sole proprietor by definition and even if I were to get an LLC or even S Corp, the company won’t touch me. Again, I have no idea how many are out there like me but we’re here too! It’s about any type of project you can imagine.”

Lindsay Wright: “I am on the board of a classical Indian music group with a similar budget and almost 50 year history. I really don’t know what we are going to do. Our musicians or singers typically perform one night with us. They are often world famous and cannot (and do not want to) become our “employees.” We also try to hire young CA musicians on occasion to give them valuable experience and resume credits. I guess no more?”

Sam Katz: “I rent space at a dance studio, to teach dance classes. I teach my own classes, no one oversees my classes or content. I do not share common students with the general studio classes, they actually don’t offer the classes that I teach, but since they ar e in the same business… which includes renting studio space, it looks like right off, I can’t pass the ABC test. I also a friend who has run a dance company for many years, who is in a panic. AB5 could END many dance companies…

Andrea Sparkles: “As a dance teacher, I teach, which is the purpose of a dance studio. But as an IC, I set my own hours at the beginning of the season, set my own rates for private lessons, make my own curriculum, choose my own music and costumes for the dancers, use my own tablet for music, and have purchased materials for the studio for my dancers to use (hand weights, resistance bands, etc.) This law just sucks. If I’m W2, I can conceivably not be able to set my hours for the season, be told what and how to teach, and may not have the flexibility to go perform elsewhere, as I am also an actor/director/choreographer.

Deborah Brockus: “Dancers in CA work for multiple groups over the course of a day/week/month. Nothing steady just choosing what gig to work when offered. Turning the dancers into employees is crazy some I only have for a few hours in the entire year but they will all be listed as employees for the entire year for accounting purposes as employer making my small dance company a mid sized employer – and those extended costs will price is out of the market. Additionally lawyers can give no clear answer on business to businesses 1099 so we are in a holding pattern in terms of jobs. Currently dance and the performing arts are dying in LA – no pay checks since Jan 1, 2020.”

Maria Quesada: “I am a dental insurance biller and accounts manager. I work remotely with dentists and do the insurance billing, posting of insurance payments and work the aged accounts. I am an independent contractor and can work at home while my little ones go to bed or are in school. I am a single mom and this is supplemental income from my regular job. With AB5 I will not be able to make ends meet with the extra income I earn working remotely as an independent contractors. Even a 9-5 job with a single family household and living in the Bay Area is not enough to cover rent and bills.”

Karolina Sahba: “I’m a dental technician, I actually manufacture dental restorations, ie., crowns. It’s a dying art to begin with, as a lot of us are already being replaced by milling machines. I have worked in the profession for 33 years now and for the last 20 as an independent contractor. Because of Covid-19, I have found myself out of work since March 2020, but even when more dental offices are able to reopen and patients feel comfortable enough to see a dentist again, the lab I contract for may not be able to afford to hire me back as “an employee.” This law is destroying my ability to make a living in a profession I have enjoyed for 33 years.

Marty Glassman:  “I’m a DJ and I’ve owned an entertainment company for the past 27 years. This new law is so overwhelmingly detrimental to small businesses and so utterly unnecessary. All my DJs are independent contractors with their own DJ companies. We all work for each other…and it’s been this way for over 35 yrs since I’ve been in the business. AB5 completely changes all companies such as mine to the point where for MANY, it will no longer be sustainable economically to keep the doors open. Honestly, our whole industry is worried about the impact this will have on the hundreds of small companies and thousands of DJs who work as independent contractors.”

John Anthony Arnett: “I run a small mobile DJ/production company.. i always hired any extra hands as independent contractors. We pats day rates of $250 to $300 a day for techs on our gigs problem I’m having now is clients don’t want to pay for the higher rates to cover new costs associated with my business hiring employees… it’s honestly going to put my small company out of business.”

Candy Goulette: “I am a medical editor who lost all my clients with the passage of AB5. I don’t want an exemption, I want a repeal of the entire law. I want the right back to live my life and run my own business the way that works for me and my family. I am 66 and am a niche editor. How many employers do you think are lining up to hire me full time?

Christine Steele: “I’m a career copyeditor with 25 years of experience. Last year I started my own editing business and gained two main clients who became my monthly source of income for paying rent and food. Both dropped me, and now I have no monthly income. I am not able to make rent next month and just applied for food stamps.

Debbie Overman: “I’m an associate editor who works from home full-time for a company based in Kansas. There is a home office in Kansas, but myself and my co-workers (many based in California, but others who live in other states) all work from home. I also freelanced as an editor with Textbroker to supplement my income to help with rent costs, pay down bills, etc. I have benefits, etc, with my full-time job, so I don’t need to become an “employee” somewhere else. This was just a side gig to make extra money, which was easy to do since I already worked from home. I have now lost that extra money due to AB5, and that will put a tremendous strain on my finances.

Jan Marie: “Online ESL teachers. One company has over 40,000 teachers in the US alone. They sent out a memo stating they’ll no longer contract with new CA teachers as of Dec 1. I was in the hiring process when this announcement hit and I had to stop everything. Current teachers are sweating it when their contracts expire – they assume they’ll be cut loose. Most are women: older women passed over for jobs, the disabled, stay at home moms, and caregivers. Currently other smaller ESL companies have yet to make an announcement but it’s thousands of people who are affected. I’m an older woman (57) who cannot find teaching (or any other employee based) work in my county so I run a pet sitting business while caring for my disabled husband. The relentless 24/7/365 schedule is impossible to continue health-wise myself so I began the transition to online teaching until Lorena decided she was our Great Mother. Hence her swooning ecstasy at offering us cheaper diapers.”

Cindy Park: “I’m a face painter/balloon twister. Almost all of us either sub contract extra help or have worked events for others when we are available. There are thousands of us in CA. For me, outsourcing is 50% of my income.

Nina Greville: “I have a face painting company and a DBA. Like Cindy I use a lot of IC’s. Some a few days a month and others once a year for a few hours. I’ve been returning my 1099 forms and paying taxes for years. My IC’S are predominantly women with regular “day jobs”. This is extra money they rely on. They earn 4 to 5 times an hour more at these gigs than at their regular jobs. Neither I nor they want to become employees. The flip side is I’m afraid large corporations who book my teams for large events just won’t bother in the future. We all loose. There are hundreds of professions impacted but it seems to me it’s hitting the arts pretty hard. Movie makers, musicians, entertainers, photographers, writers artists. California is going to be void of the arts, and it’s the tip of the iceberg.”

Vanessa Mendoza: “I am a face painter (sole proprietor) who subcontracts out fellow artists as IC’s for events requiring multiple artists or for events that I’m unable to do. The amount of money these artists are currently making is substantially higher than minimum wage. No one on either side wants this. I’d be forced to pay artists less, and my artists will be forced to decline the events I offer, which then means I’d have to decline the events I need covered.”

Nikole Wilson-Ripsom: “I am the parent of a special needs teen, have some caregiving responsibilities on weekends for an elderly relative and myself suffer from an invisible disability – I’m not disabled enough to qualify for disability, but I’m too disabled for 90% of the jobs out there. In recent years, as my son got older, I was able to take a traditional desk job for a non-profit that mostly accommodates my physical needs and used my freelancing to earn the supplemental income needed for my son’s therapies and nutritional supplementals, but when he was younger, all of my work was freelance and as others have said, it allowed me the flexibility to be there for 20 hours a week of behavioral therapy and occupational therapy and speech therapy and so on. Now, I’ve taken him out of music therapy (the only one he was still participating in at this age) because I can’t afford it, and there will be no nutritional supplements next month. And I’ve already written my story to Governor Newsom, my Assemblymember and State Senator. Funny enough, the non-profit that I work for is a member of our city’s Chamber, so I have to tread carefully there, but…the non-profit is also going to be impacted by AB 5 because we’re a youth arts, education and performance organization and we’re struggling with how we’re going to handle hiring our contracted accompanists, stage managers, etc.

S.J. Antonucci: “Beer and wine festivals are getting cancelled. I have been setting up booths at these festivals and selling my art for a decade! SO MANY SMALL ARTISTS will lose their entire way to make an income. There are many artists and vendors who rely on big and small festivals for their livelihoods.

Virginia Hankins: “We just lost a major county fair client because although our employees have been run as employees under our LLC for years, since the whole “similar or affiliated industry” thing and “can’t work for clients of the client” is way too broad in AB5 (I create kids entertainment for public events, a fair entertains the public), the fair has chosen not to contract us again. Three of my actors just lost their main show that they depend on each year. That’s a huge hit to them, and a sore spot because we were in compliance for running them as employees, but the industry / type of work has too much room for interpretation.”

Nicolas Repetto: “As for me, I’m a film composer and luckily I was able to form my LLC this year, but being able to hire musicians for just a few hours to record my film scores will be untenable with this crazy new law. I’ve had to look out of state to find alternatives which is terrible since I want to hire the musicians I know in LA. I will keep doing my best so freelance musicians get an exemption.

Andy J. McQueen: “I have been a Freelance Independent Contractor for 20yrs from Camera Assistant to Camera Operator to Audio Mixer/Location Sound Recordists, grip, gaffer, utility and technical supervisor. Some work for a client is 1 day (day player), some may be 4 to 10 days and yet others 3 months, really there is no set amount of time. After that particular job I may work for that client months later or years later or never work for that client again. It’s all gig to gig employment that is 1099 based. With AB5, even owning my own business (sole proprietor), I am in jeopardy of losing everything! Production companies hire their crew members for the duration of the project. Once that project ends, effectively we are fired (end of show) and are looking for our next gig. It’s a constant hustle to find more work. I am not an employee of the production company, in fact technically we are considered being employed by the payroll company. No network hires us even though the project may be for a major network, studio and/or on-line streaming service. There are a lot of independent contractors in TV/Film/Internet/LiveProduction/Sports/Concerts/Conferences/Meetings/Weddings/Birthdays/bar mitzvahs bat mitzvahs…the list goes on and on(Reality TV included) that simply won’t qualify for the B2B exemption.

Jen McCleary Allen: “San Diego Film Production: Large group project where 100% of folks were to get paid has now turned into 90% volunteers with remaining trying to set up B2B so project can at least still continue. Second film project: Volunteers only now but we get IMDB credit & food.”

Willow Polson: “I was working on an upcoming project that I will now not be doing as planned because of AB5. Catering, crew, SAG actors, hotels, props, costuming, special effects — they are all getting NOTHING. AB5 has cost the state  economy over $30,000 from my one small film production alone. Instead of hiring people, they will all get zero, because I can’t afford to get fined out of existence for making a mistake due to arbitrary moving and possibly retroactive goalposts. Did it force me to hire actors as employees or use union crew? No, because the money isn’t there. Congrats, Lorena, you’ve just set $30,000 on fire. About two dozen people I was going to help with freelance film work are getting $0. Here’s part of the problem: I can’t just do half a project. If I can’t use cast and crew members in a way that makes sense for my micro-budget, I have to scale back EVERYTHING including food, locations, props, etc. According to AB5, I have to employ my editor, even though he works out of his home six hours away, and I don’t dictate his hours. The fact that his skill set is integral to completing my project is what flips him over into the AB5 mire. I had several thousand $$ set aside in my budget for him alone, but no more. He gets $0. Now my husband is probably going to have to edit my show in our living room on our home computer. The quality will suffer and the entire situation is a hot mess, but what choice do I have anymore? If I try to raise $30K on Kickstarter, Probably $10K of that has to go just to payroll services, accounting, and taxes alone before my crew would see a dime. And if I make a mistake? God help me. I can’t risk destroying my company.”

Julian Robinson: “I’m a film editor who has been incorporated for years, and have all my own benefits as a small business owner. Clients are suddenly refusing to hire my BUSINESS and instead forcing me to file as w2 employee, deducting payroll and other expenses I already pay for under my business, causing me a nightmare of work in reassuring them they won’t get sued if I can just invoice them normally like a business.

Phil Lollar: “My wife is a freelance Senior Strength Trainer and Fitness Instructor. She has done this successfully, on her own terms, in Pasadena for 20+ years and in Duarte for 30+ years. Even before this reprehensible law went into effect, lawyers for the Pasadena facility where she teaches came to pressure the facility to change her status to employee. Neither my wife nor the facility want this, but on Monday, she has another meeting with the lawyers, who will no doubt intimidate the facility into compliance. The facility is not in a position to make her an employee, which she doesn’t want to be in the first place. So after 20+ years, my wife may be forced out of the work she loves and turned into a success, just because some know-nothing bureaucrat thinks she knows how my wife should live her life better than my wife does.

Monica Wyman: “I’m an Event Florist who only works seasonally and hires freelancers to complete our jobs. AB5 keeps me from bringing in the help I need. My helpers are moms who want the flexibility to work at their own schedules and say no to any gig they don’t want. I don’t make enough or do the volume to form a company with employees.

Shufina Knoebber English: “My sister is wedding florist. When she has a large event, she will frequently subcontract out part of the production (putting together the floral table arrangements for example) to one of her local competitor / colleagues. She lives in a rural area, people like to support each other – when 2 florists bid on a wedding, only one gets the gig. In a rural area, there’s not a whole lot of qualified, skilled help – and people appreciate being brought in. Temp Agencies don’t really exist either. In a good month, she might have -6 weddings and might only need support on one. This flawed legislation favors urban areas where a small business can presumably draw from a regular supply of “temp” workers via an agency. It is disrespectful to rural populations to assume that what may work in San Diego or LA will also work in Mendocino, Humboldt or any rural area of our beautiful state. And – it takes NO consideration for the fact that competitors ALSO collaborate and support each other.

Greg Edward: “AB5 negatively affects fly fishing guides in CA, because most of us are independent contractors. We can’t possibly all be our own business or soul proprietor, because we move around fishing and use a “placement” service (outfitter) to work under their umbrella for insurance reasons, permits, etc.

Ruth Lang: “I am a Professional Genealogist. Last June my father passed away and I needed to find work I could do from home to care for my elderly mother who lives with me. At the end of 2019, I quit my job at our local historical society to start two part-time businesses: freelance writing and a genealogy/historical research business. I wasn’t aware of AB5 at the time. For my genealogy business, I accept clients, but due to AB5, I cannot contract with local museums, historical societies, law firms (for heir searches) to research and develop special programs, exhibits, websites, blog posts, and social media as these services are part of the company’s business. I am proceeding with plans to start my writing business with the hope that freelance writers eventually receive a full exemption or AB5 is repealed.

Kevin Barnard: “I’m a graphic designer and have been working in California as a freelance independent contractor since 1997. On Jan 1, 2020, AB5 caused an out-of-state client to drop me from their preferred vendor list. That client was a potential $25k-$35k income source for me. I explained to their HR dept that as AB5 is written, graphic designers are exempt. The client refused to reinstate me as a preferred contractor, saying “the risk of legal action and fines brought by the State of California prevents us from accepting any further invoices from you.” AB5 is poorly written, being irresponsibly implemented in its draconian methods, and has all but destroyed our work environment as freelancers in California. #RepealAB5.”

Scorpiana Xlynn: “I want to clear up a misconception, I am a hairstylist who has been an independent contractor for 21 years. Folks keep saying that hairstylists are exempt. That isn’t exactly true. It’s not that we aren’t allowed to be independent  at all but there are a bunch of new rules in place to put the burden of proving we are independent. Ab5 doesn’t affect an independent beauty professional who rents a suite at a place like Sola salons where you rent an individual suite with a lock on your door and you provide 100% of everything yourself . It affects people like me who rent stations at regular salons a.k.a. booth renters. Previously, salon owners who rent out stations as opposed to running employee based salons were allowed to offer whatever rental perks they wanted to attract and keep renters. Where I currently rent at, these perks included: free coffee for me and my clients, use of towels, robes, capes and the laundering of said items, use of the salon landline, free shampoo and conditioner at the backbar, free disinfectant for our combs and brushes, use of the salon receptionist if we chose to book our appointments. The owner sells hair products and accessories and if my client buys anything, I got 20% commission. We are not in any way, shape, or form employees. I pay rent at the start of every week, my clients pay me directly, I am not required to share my tips. Apparently this is no longer enough for the state.  As of January 1st, the salon owner is no longer allowed to provide anything but the station itself. She is no longer allowed to give us commission on the products our clients buy from the salon. I now have to come out of pocket for towels, shampoos, coffee, etc. They will be sending inspectors around to check that salons like mine are compliant. The new laws also affect my ability to take short term contract gigs like doing hair for fashion shows and photo shoots  for companies and businesses. It affects my hairstylist friends who have side gigs doing education and hair shows for major product companies.”

Kyle Rae: “Today (February 20, 2020) was my final day as a sports reporter at my publication, barley 2 months in to the new year and I met my 35 articles a year quota. I reported on all local high school & college sports for the inland empire (mostly Hemet, Temecula, Menifee, & surrounding areas) also occasionally professional sports when something major happened. The kids are heart broken! As a sports guy, I really made it about them and made them feel as special as possible. I went out of my way to help them, the community loved me, they are devastated. The publication offers to bring me on a s staff, but the offer was a joke it would turn into less wages and more hours. Plus a fixed schedule that wouldn’t work for me as I am a full-time dad and aspiring fiction author…. I’m a man who wears many hats.

Bekka Fink: “I have a small biz working with multi-generational families, small biz owners, and individuals. We support people in many ways around internal and external clutter.  I have 12 people on my team ( including me).  Due to AB5, I can no longer afford to hire any of them except three. All of my contractors survive on a variety of gig jobs in the arts, teaching, healing arts, restaurants, and other jobs. I love giving them work.  I love each and every one of them, and I have spent many hours teaching and mentoring them. I am really sad about this, and haven’t told all of them yet, as I’m still figuring out if my main crew will continue, with a pay cut. All of them had great potential in my company, and will be impacted in a very large way. Based on what I know, I and the three others will have to take a large pay cut to cover payroll and other expenses due to the law.  I have always paid my contractors well and reimburse them for gas and tolls.  Sadly no more.  As a Professional organizer, life coach, relocation specialist, I have been doing this for 14 years, building my business slowly, and have just begun to have a solid stable existence in the Bay Area the last three years.  This law is going to make it very difficult to survive here. AB5 puts limits on the support I can hire, and perhaps the inability to write off expenses. This could end my beautiful business that I and my clients adore.  The work is a much needed and loved business

I am also a professional performing artist and  I haven’t even begun to look into how my work will be impacted there. I just turned 50 and need support in my business because physically it is very demanding. I was in the process of setting up my business to be sustainable and carry me into retirement. Now sadly I fear this will not be possible.  I also work with outside vendors (design, haulers, landscaping, moving, painters, contractors, architects, handymen/ women, electricians, computer folks, media transfers, etc…), and I have questions about how the law sees these people in my network.”

Paisley Phelps: “I own a horse ranch. I contract with eight independent contractors to all help my business: Independent riding instructors, grooms, fruit pickers, landscapers, etc. NONE meet the ‘ABC’ checklist, all are 10-99’ed, and ALL have other jobs and sources of income. I can NOT afford to put them all on payroll. These people will have to be let go, therefore forcing my ranch out of business.

Matthew Peterson: “There are at least 1000 hull cleaners in California (those who provide boat owners with in-water hull cleaning services and related maintenance tasks) and the great majority of them either work as independent contractors or use independent contractors to get the job done. I have six divers working for me in varying degrees but none of them are anywhere near full time. I simply cannot afford to hire them as employees, and I guarantee many other dive services are in the same boat, no pun intended. This could put me out of business.”

Willow Polson: “I now have to hire my crew and actors as employees, even if they only work a few hours, which has at least tripled my production costs, if not more. I now have to hire a payroll company, pay payroll taxes, and hire a production manager just to handle the mountains of hiring and payroll paperwork. What used to cost maybe $30K to make is coming in at $100K or more, and keep in mind most of these very small projects are crowdfunded or pieced together with investment/angel funding. AB5 not only hurts non-union actors and crew, it hurts small production companies too. This is crushing the micro-budget film industry and will only encourage companies to operate illegally without permits or insurance. And I may add the “B2B will fix this” that gets tossed around does not help my business — they need to understand that this hurts the businesses who want to hire contractors too. It’s cutting both ways.

Lee Baker: “My wife and I are both independent insurance adjusters and travel is a huge part of our expenses. We average several thousand miles a month. Fuel and maintenance expenses alone are tremendous. In 2018 we had $70k in expense deductions. As a W2 those would go away. We would/will take a huge financial hit by being classified as a W2 employee.”

Nan Sterman: “As a landscape designer,  I am facing the dilemma of no longer being able to use IC draftspeople to measure projects and create baseplan drawings for me. Nor can I tap different design colleagues for different projects — our skills overlap somewhat but we each have different specialties so we come together in different groupings depending on the project. There aren’t enough projects to justify hiring anyone as an employee, and besides, I would have to raise my rates significantly to cover employee costs. In the end, then, I cant serve my clients with the service they need, can afford, and deserve. What happened to the concept of “right to work?”

Cráig Vincent: “I have been the contract technical director at the Woodland Opera House for the past couple years. I have been paid a monthly stipend as an independent contractor. As of today, that has come to an end. The theater can no longer pay any stipends and is reverting back to an all volunteer organization. Many of California’s community theatres will be hurt by this and some will actually close their doors. I make my living as a freelance lighting designer, or I did until today anyway.”

Nate Mills: “I’m Sole Proprietor in the entertainment event lighting industry and there is no permanent placement style for my work. There are too many dark spots between work, multiple vendors in the mix, and the standard employment laws that protect employees stifle large last minute windows of production. So the independent workers are how it’s accomplished. AB5 is more about reeling in lost taxes than protecting misclassified employees. That’s the sum of this bill.

Catbird Scouts: “I have worked as a Location Scout/Manager for over three decades for a range of clients in the film/photography realm. Sometimes on a larger gig I am put on payroll, but mostly I am an IC and submit an Invoice as a sole-proprietor. I have made a career and supported myself doing this (feast or famine sometimes), and prefer the flexibility to choose my own schedule and projects that suit my availability, skills and preferences. Oh, and I pay for my own health insurance. I’m experiencing a real downturn in requests for work which very likely is attributable to AB5.”

Robie Canlas: “I’ve been a luthier (someone who makes and repairs stringed instruments) for almost 13 years. Its a very tight circle of luthiers/builders and its not uncommon for us to contract/hire each other for work since hand building a guitar from scratch takes a good while. From cutting tone woods, hand shaping bodies and necks. bracing, fretting and finishing, it sometimes it gets out of hand specially when you have a good amount of orders in the pipeline. We luthiers hire each other for specific work as well because certain luthiers have a higher skill on a certain aspect of guitar building or repair. For example, my forte is restoring and refinishing high-value electric/acoustic guitars. AB5 has made us weary and worried on how to comply with the law and also stifling our guitar building. It’s already a very competitive and cutthroat industry already, and it’s going to destroy a lot of the smaller builders. ”

Jonathan Eric Wilson: “I have a small (S-corp) firm that specializes in an instrument (GuitarViol, a guitar formatted viola) I invented that is used by a lot of Film/TV composers around the world. (300, Game of Thrones, John Wick and tons of Netflix, Showtime, HBO). 30+ years ago, I embarked on this journey to make an instrument I wanted to exist and never a thought that it would become my living and I would have to ditch that W-2 “job” in 2008 to keep up with demand! This was developed on my own moonlight hours and nobody was handing me a W-2 job to do it! Over the years, I have trained people who now operate their own firms and have lots of their own clients. It is not uncommon in the boutique custom guitar and violin building space for there to be cooperative B2B IC business. Many of us are not competing with each other and it is a culture of kindred spirits who specialize in certain things! I incorporated on advice of my CPA in 2009 because it was real awkward being 1099s by media clients accountants (for my own freaking invention!). My garage business was a victim of its own success and I was zoned out of LA. Had a commercial shop space in another county for 4 1/2 years until that got tangled in red tape and I moved November 2019 to a space closer to home (Valencia, CA) but with increased overhead! Now, welcome to 2020 – an expensive move – now AB5! UGH!!! I’m tasked with setting up payroll and rethinking everything! I may not be able to call on specialist IC’s. We are not some mega factory, we make small batches of super high quality tools (specialty instruments) for the movie soundtrack industry. I am concerned for the post production industry (my customers) in California (1/3 of my business is California, 1/3 the other lower 48, and 1/3 international). AB5 is insulting and its proponents heartless and condescending. We are operating/complying the best we can! Concerned for this American nightmare unfolding!”

David Skale: “As a magician, I work for many different event planners. Under AB5, each event planner will have to make me their employee, even for a single gig. I also own an event planning company. Under AB5, I will have to make every performer I contract an employee. Again… even for a single gig. These added costs will destroy my business and those who have a similar business model. The Magic Castle is on the front lines of fighting this. Like most comedy clubs, they rotate the acts each week. This law means that EVERY PERFORMER becomes an employee. They are working on getting letters from major celebs to write to the legislatures. ”

Scott Tokar: “As a magician, typically we book a gig for several walk-around magicians and then hire other magicians to join us. Now I have to hire magicians from out of state to join me because it is less expensive for them to drive from Las Vegas for a two hour gig than it is to have PIT workers comp and UI taken from their checks.

Bill Perron: “I’m a magician and my work has ceased because of Lorena Gonzalez who would rather dictate than work for the people who pay her wages.”

Rachel Lusk: “As a makeup artist, I may ask a colleague to come help me take a few extra faces if my bridal party is too large for me to tackle on my own. I will pay them their going rate, and 1099 them. I usually do this once or twice a year, if that. Bringing them on as employees, hiring payroll, and offering benefits is simply not feasible in this regard. The nature of my line of work is simply freelance contractors.”

Cindy Shea: “I am a bandleader of over two decades, two-time Grammy Award winner, and11 time Grammy nominee. I have played trumpet since I was 8 years old and I am 45 years old now. I am a music producer, engineer, composer, arranger, music publishing owner, record label owner, and a corporate business owner of 20 years with Mariachi Divas Inc. where I have provided work for hundreds of successful musicians. I wear many hats and play many roles in order to make the ends meet as a SINGLE mother of 2 sons with NO child support help!  Thanks to this not only myself but hundreds of hard working TAX paying musicians will now be forced to go back underground for cash gigs, and leave me here to figure out and question why I ever followed the law and created a small business to create the American dream and create jobs for so many others. Two decades of my business destroyed because I have no one who wants to work for me now. Thank you for destroying successful Women’s and Men’s dreams across the globe Ms. Lorena. Maybe you can explain to my children why everything in their lives is about to change ?!?!!?

Shawna: “I’m also a marketing / PR professional and have been for a decade. I’ve been in front of the labor commission twice this year (for the first time ever) and based on Dynamex we lost every time. Per our attorneys (at Akerman if you’d like them up) we have more of the same to look forward to. As a result, fewer clients are hiring us, and we’re hiring NO CA ICs. Even if they’re their own business entity, it offers no protection in front of the labor commission. Consult your own attorney.

Casey Platt Roleffson: “I am a corporate chair massage therapist. I have contracted with numerous companies in my 16 yrs. of service. My industry will go belly up if this law isn’t repealed! One of my jobs is with interpreters for the deaf…..they are in the same boat! This is the #1 most horrible law ever to pass. Me and my colleagues have already had contracts pulled and are loosing money daily.The number of us affected is in the thousands if not hundreds of thousands.

Veronica Lin: “I am a single mom massage therapist who breeds artists. This is beyond devastating for my family. If it weren’t for wellness and music, I wouldn’t have made it thus far. The future is bleak without a full repeal.”

Carolyn Guerrero: “In my profession as an IC, I made 50 percent of what the spa charged. As an employee, I make $18 per one-hour session. I have to do six in order to make $108. As an IC, I earn much more and am also not subjected to on-the-job mistreatment in front of clients and other workers. I’ve been in business for 22 years. The laws should be easier on us, not harder.”

Razieh Mostafavi: “l am sitting here at my house trying to stay calm and focused to rescue myself from this sudden tsunami of job loss that happened to me as an independent contractor working as a medical interpreter. I suddenly lost my contracts with agencies throughout the country and down to near nothing job. I am freaking out due to not having much luck getting calls from places I applied for jobs and not hearing any good news for repealing AB5. I have registered as a company LLC, got a tax ID number, yet they don’t want to sign contracts with many folks whom reside in CA. Another stressful notion is the law backfired on Democrats and as a Democrat I sure don’t like to see people be upset with them, specially at this crucial election year. I am 61 years old with 15 years of independent work, hard to go back to job market and hard to find the job.”

Rachele Shelley: “I am a medical transcriptionist, working from home. I lost CA clients on Jan 1st due to this new law. I have been working from home for 10 years. Doing so has allowed me to be home with the twins. This new law will not allow me to continue to be home. I’ve been looking for employment now and the boys will need to attend before and after school care.”

Steve Gale: “I am the owner of a meeting and event entertainment company living in your district. I am writing you in regards to AB5 and how it affects myself and other meeting and event entertainment companies. I am hoping to be exempt from AB5 as I have no part time or even full time employment for the independent contractors I currently hire. I am an entertainment producer who creates and puts together various one off entertainment shows and events for companies that put together fund raisers, galas, product launches, and award shows. I create one of a kind events for companies that bring in people in their industry from all over the world that funnels money into restaurants, hotels, transportation, airlines, convention centers, as well as many other companies I am associated with. This includes the Meeting Planner Network, Destination Management Companies, Hospitality and Tourism among others that are being impacted due to the confusing nature of AB5. Our company brings in specific high end specialized talent such as acrobats, singers, dancers, actors, magicians and musicians. As we design and put together these events we create various themes and content that may or may not exist until we create it. The majority of the time we hire an independent artist about 1-10 times a year for a single day event based on the entertainment we provide. They work about 4 hours maximum in the particular day I hire them. We cannot afford the to classify these performing artists as employees as our industry is competitive and budgets are tight enough. A lot of the times the artists do different acts, characters and performances. These artists also work for all of my competitors and their events as well as casinos, theme parks and many other companies as independent contractors. We choose to be Independent as well as the talent we bring into our events. In my industry colleagues as well as talent across the state are receiving notices that they will be losing work because of AB5. As I read the bill it seems that it will force me to hire other talent from outside the state and force people in state to move or become out of work completely. AB5 did not contemplate how many millions of dollars are spent by all the companies involved in the event industry. I humbly ask for the bill to be repealed or amended as big business will not come to California as well as hurt the arts and entertainment industry. Meeting Planners, Destination Management Companies and Event Planners are the ones that makes these high-profile meetings happen and they hire us who brings in the talent and creates the entertainment for their guests and events. We are professionals in our field and hire people like Mario Andretti to drive at an event, not the hourly minimum wage workers this bill targets at Uber and Lyft who are regular drivers. AB5 has put us all together with a broad brush and more clarification needs to be discussed and handed over to the companies such as mine so we can move forward and continue to do business. My company has local clients as well, companies such as NAVWAR and Intuit that I create specialized shows for such as their holiday party and awards show. I have an LLC and EIN number and I am registered with the State of California. I pay all the required taxes and fees, insurance, banking fees, and have a business consultant as well. Recently my business consultant feels he may be affected by the AB5. He has told me that if the bill is to be taken in regards to the fear it has created then I should hire a consultant out of Las Vegas as his job could be done remotely across state lines. This seems to be the same in regards to sports writers and other remote jobs. Lorena Gonzalez the author of AB5 wants me to make everyone I bring in an employee and that is just not practicable based on my business model as well as other event companies. My business is the true definition of being and hiring independent contractors and feels that AB5 creates ambiguity and leads business away from California. Please reconsider this bill and the ramifications it has in regards to not just my business but many other businesses in the state of California.”

Sheryl Schane: “I am a 25-year Independent Meeting and Event Professional: Hospitality and Tourism Industry, this is for you…it’s time to act, please. Meeting planning colleagues have received notices from agencies or longtime clients making a tough call to no longer contract with CA based independent meeting planners because of AB5. Instead, these agencies and clients have chosen to hire our colleagues from neighboring states to manage the meeting operations here in California because they are not willing to deal with the risks of AB5. Another concern, serious consideration is being given to no longer host future meetings based at CA hotels and CA convention facilities, taking handsome spending budgets to more friendlier cities like Las Vegas, Scottsdale, Dallas, and FL.

This is very sad and disturbing. An unintended consequence of what is happening to us in CA and so many other professions. The ripple effects of AB5 are astounding.

AB5 seems to have blindsided several of the industries and vendors we call upon. Not all clients are direct clients. We must contract and hire live entertainment, celebrities, sports personalities, emcees, local musicians, professional speakers, catering, car services, tarot, magicians, caricature artists, various dancers, comedians, authors, Audio Visual and Engineering Techs, Photographers, Interpreters for international conference delegates, Videographers, and production and rental companies.

Under AB5, this would make us instant employers of each one of these industries, even for a one-off three-hour hire for our client.

I have sent a 3-page letter to my Assemblyman Brian Maienschein (77th District, San Diego) requesting and needing an exemption and carve-out for all of Meeting Professionals.
AB5 needs to be repealed or a fair compromise to re-write the language and restore entrepreneurial business enterprise.”

Isobel Gardner: “People will die from #AB5 Im a licensed mental health professional I had to let go of 5 of my 20 patients when I was forced to quit my part time IC job at a clinic and start a competitive private practice next door. They can’t afford me now! There are no one else offering those evening time slots and my specialization so they end up #lorenagonzalez collateral damage . Clearly mental health and suicide prevention is not on her agenda.”

Celesta Rannisi: “What hospital or company is going to hire me to do home births?! I am a freelance independent home-birth midwife! Licensed by the state of CA. And registered with the North American Registry of Midwives! Lorena you’re killing me by taking away my livelihood! I have been serving women 34 years! There is no transitioning available for me at my age of 62.”

Scott Hacker: “We’ve been told that mortgage brokers are not the same as real estate agents and not exempt. It baffles me as we are independent in every respect. I market and generate all of my own business. Being forced to be W-2’d instead of 1099 does not allow us to deduct legitimate business expenses. The IRS has already eliminated Form 2106 expenses so this allows the IRS to tax us on gross wages instead of net wages.”

Colleen Craig, The Mortgage Ninja: “I’ve been in the mortgage business for over 30 years. I’ve gotten my NMLS required license and continuing education every year since inception. Now I am no longer able to do ANY business at my company unless I get my real estate license, which is ridiculous because I don’t sell homes, but this is the only workaround to continue to be 1099. It has cost me thousands and thousands of costs in getting a new DRE license and lost business during this phase where I cannot conduct business. I refuse to just go “work for a banker” and be a W2 employee. After 30 years I get paid for WHAT I KNOW not for WHERE I AM.   # disgusted.

Marguerite Kusuhara: “As Mrs. Claus’, we entertain at malls, homes, company parties, corporate events, tree lightings, cookie baking and decorating, meet and greets, and storytimes, etc. We book ourselves and other Mrs. Claus’ when we need backup or have too many gigs to do ourselves without schedule conflict. We also book Santas, elves, and other Christmas characters. Many of us also do other types of entertainment throughout the year, not only Mrs. Claus. So, with AB5, no business for us. Many are too small to incorporate. No More Mrs. Claus.”

Karen Garrity: “I am a cellist and music contractor. Before the end of January 2020, I had lost 3 contracts that had been almost fully negotiated. The clients decided to record elsewhere due to AB5. These projects would have provided work for 120+ m sicians, 3 studios, 6 sound engineers and all studio staff. Further, compliance with AB5 for the “employer” has been ridiculously difficult because the traditional payroll and insurance companies simply did not know how to work with one-off contracts. We are being forced to figure out work-arounds in order to comply. The additional 20-30% cost of payroll and insurance is also prohibitive for many prospective clients.”

Jim Martinez: “I’m the Executive and Artistic Director of the annual Roseville JazzFest. Our festival last year featured members of the Stan Keaton Legacy Orchestra, the Four Freshmen, and the Count Basie and Lionel Hampton orchestras, to name a few. Because of AB5, there might not be a festival in 2020. Jazz festivals are not fly-by-night events. We work all year for one event, to help keep jazz alive.

Marianthe Bezzerides: “I have a music lesson company in Los Angeles that I single handedly built and managed, by myself, for the past 6 years. I have been contracted with many music teachers over the years who have enjoyed the flexibility in their schedule while they pursue composing, performing and other teaching gigs. The pay rate is three times the minimum wage in California and we have fantastic families that we work with. AB5 threatens my ability to stay in business unless I cut teacher’s pay and take away the flexibility that they have come to enjoy, or raise the rates on all of the families. We’ll undoubtedly lose business from parents who are striving to provide quality music lessons for their kids, who won’t be able to afford the new tuition increase. For me personally, this comes at a time in my life when I’m not in the position to go get a job if my business goes under as I have a new 4 month old to take care of. There is going to be a huge ripple effect across the economy in California because so many small businesses will hand to shut down, cut contractor pay or raise rates. My guess is that a lot of services will just disappear.

Chris Plante: “I had one of the nicest music lessons studios in Riverside for 11 years. It’s dead as of 1/1/20. My teachers revolted. Four of five quit and took the majority of the students. It’s over for me.

Laura Hodge: “I am a single mom teaching artist who works many different short contracts with several companies throughout the year. Sometimes there is a 3-month stretch without contract. I also do voiceover, dance and acting gigs. Not being allowed to be a professional dance, acting and teaching artist in the state of California will be fatal to the arts and entertainment industry and arts in school. Not to mention cause homelessness due to not allowed to work.”

Kelly Zeien Summer: “I am a music therapist who provided music therapy to children in palliative and hospice care. I was an independent contractor for two agencies in the past. We are talking about children with feeding tubes and who relied on respirators to survive. Arts therapy was very important to them and their families. That is over now, because of AB5.”

Ryan Bueter: “I’m an entertainer who performs mostly at private events. My show is called The Killer Dueling Pianos. When I am already booked , I send out 2 other people to perform. I signed contracts with clients and took deposits back in 2018-19 for shows in 2020. The budgets were set. Now having to pay for workers comp, payroll taxes, accountants, payroll company, sick days…. I stand to lose $89,000 in 2020.I can’t really go back to the people that booked us and ask for more money when the deal was signed 18 months ago. I’ve already told the other piano payers they have the option to take less, or not do the event and I send the deposits back to the clients with a soiled reputation on a show I’ve invested $300,000 on building since 2013. Hows that for losses?

My LLC will be finished this week. I haven’t slept since 12/23. I just made the first payment on $6k a year workers comp policy. I stand to lose $89k this year in payroll taxes alone. Nobody who performs with me wants to be W2. Hours and hours filling new forms, new bank accounts, sending subs to my gigs already this year so I can do all of the admin work required to comply, and not taking a check for myself til February.”

Heather Besignano: “My husband is a composer, studio engineer and music artist who survives off of people hiring him for one-off jobs. These people aren’t going to put him on payroll in order to do 1 movie or 1 Studio session for a couple of hundred dollars. He also plays in a cover band that creates 1/2 his income monthly and has been told by several venues that they will likely have to stop hiring his band (among the others) because of this bill. Considering this makes up his 1/2 of our family income it’s a very scary time. We are genuinely afraid we may not be able to pay for our mortgage or daughters preschool if people continue to stop hiring him individually or his band as freelance musicians.

Michael Grady: “My band was South Bay Country out of Southern California. Our band played as many as 150 shows a year for as many as 7,000 to 15,000 attendants. We played many venues from night clubs and bars to rodeos. We played for many city events like Concerts In The Park Manhattan Beach, Country fair for Dominguez Hills as well as for schools and pre-schools. We played for fund raisers where past state of California governors and many city officials were in attendance. My band is now officially shut down and on hold until AB 5 is repealed or we get an exemption. Our band provided a way for non profits to make money for their causes, we gave jobs to 6 to 11 musicians every year and we helped city’s put on events. The new law has officially killed our band. We are on hold as I can not take on this kind of liability. Nor can I afford to hire through the new laws. My musicians and I struggle to make a living as it is let alone add these expenses and burdens. Please repeal this ASAP. Sincerely Michael Grady.”

Shira Renee Thomas: “I am General Director of a small nonprofit opera company with an annual budget under $100,000. Our board is insisting that we comply with AB5. We are currently in the final week of rehearsals for an opera. The added costs of complying with AB5 for this production is estimated at about $6000. The only way we can manage that extra cost is by cutting other aspects of the show, since we were not aware of this law when we budgeted. We made the very difficult decision to cut the orchestra, the cost of which is very close to the cost of complying with AB5. They are also the one entity that has not yet begun work on the show. That’s 22 instrumentalists who lost work because of AB5.

To complicate matters, our conductor/pianist decided she did not want to do the show without orchestra, so she quit. If we cannot find a replacement pianist who is already familiar with this very difficult opera score, we will be forced to cancel the production altogether. That would put an additional 35+ artists who’ve already been working on the show out of work.Regardless of what happens with this one production, it is likely that we will no longer produce large scale productions in the future. And even if we did, our reputation has been tarnished in the musician community, because many think we should simply not comply with the law and that we made the wrong decision.”

Laurie Blunk: “This bill has impacted my personal livelihood. I am an independent nurse educator with my own business partnership that received work through another “education” company. I set my own classes, etc.  I am also legally disabled. Owning my business and working this way has worked for my body (I have 35 benign bone tumors on my body). When this law came into effect, my soon-to-be boss decided NOT to bring me on as an “employee” because I would essentially now be in direct competition with her. And when I asked about the new employee handbook, she decided I was “behaving like a detective” and that made her uncomfortable. Bottom line is, people that have been operating their businesses as more of a broker and not an employer, such as the person I was working with, may be great at finding work and connecting them to the right educator or musician or whatever, may not be good “employers” or even have the skill set to handle questions when converting to an “employer” format. It sets up possible misunderstandings, conflict and in my case a decision to not transition me to employee status. Another strange impact of this bill.”

Alexis Nowak: “I am unable to continue with an ergonomics business my colleague and I started since I am unable to contract with a fellow OT hand therapist. We are not exempt and we do not pass the ABC test because we do the same work. I was employed by the individual I was contracted with, however, considering how expensive it is to have me as an employee, I am down to only one day a week. AB5 limits the creativity and ability to provide quality care to our patients. Our industry has been run by big healthcare companies pushing our boundaries of ethics. Doing your own thing in our profession is the ONLY way out of this. Now we must all comply or be jobless.”

Kristin Genis-Lund, Classical Soprano: “This bill is wreaking havoc on the arts community in California. As a professional classical soprano, I rely on multiple gigs collectively for income as an independent contractor. Making a living with one full-time job in the opera field rarely exists. I’ve already lost all work starting this year because of this poorly written bill as the projects I was contracted to sing have been cancelled. Students and freelancers rely upon the freedom to be able to earn income via these short term contracts – they don’t want to be employees. As a board member for a mid-tier non-profit Opera company, we would be unable to produce operas going forward under the AB5 labor laws. We exist in order to expose communities to this art form, either free of charge or for a very nominal ticket price. We obtain our revenue via small grants, fundraisers, benefit concerts, silent auctions and ticket sales in order to just break even and pay our singers, conductors, etc. Our contractors rely on our projects, in addition to others in order to collectively supplement them with opportunities and income. The intent to get better wages for workers being abused obviously didn’t go through a full vetting processes to understand the complexities of real short term/contract work. At the very least, there should be a length of employment feature or number of clients/employers so that it becomes clear when a company hires someone all year on 1099 contracts they are really an employee, but if they do a few shows as a performer, etc, they are a short term specialist on contract. Without these mid-tier companies, the community will be left with only amateur or professional organizations — with nothing in between. The state legislature must act quickly to mend AB5 to make it work for small local stage productions.”

Michael Belle: “I am more fortunate than most, because I have a W2 opera employer for 8-9 months out of the year. But a small local company I was going to begin working for during the off season just closed their doors 48 hours before rehearsals were to begin. Much of my 1099 work in the off season appears poised to evaporate in a gigantic puff of legal compliance. The performing arts was/is a truly necessary exemption for smaller companies where the board members are donating to keep their companies afloat instead of getting salaried.

Nancy Wu: “I’m an optometrist that has worked as an independent contractor for almost two decades. I work part-time currently so that I can raise my two boys. Being an IC gave me great flexibility and a decent income. I’m perplexed why other doctors in health care were exempted but not optometrists. I suspect that it is all about money. It is incredibly unfair. This bill will drive up the cost of health care which is already very high. I feel terrible for all those who lost their jobs.”

Olga Barns: “I do have a full time job with W2 and all the withholdings, but being a single mom of a teenager always looking for extra work, since cost of living goes through the roof in California. On my spare time I do legal assistance/paralegal work from home computer on a weekends or evenings at my convenience. Virtual paralegal is a new growing trend in profession, solely contract work. But as you see companies from other states don’t want even bother with California residents now. That particular company is from Boston.

JoBeth McDaniel – “JoBeth McDaniel has enjoyed the perks of working as a freelance journalist since it helped pay her way through college in the 1980s. Her byline has been published in LIFE, AARP, Hearst Magazines, The New York Times, USA Today and more—always on her own terms…

In return, McDaniel gets the ability to create and manage her own schedule. She completes her work on her own terms and avoids a 3-hour commute in the busy Los Angeles county. She doesn’t have to request time off for the doctor, to take a vacation, or to take care of a sick family member…

Now in her 50s, McDaniels is watching a California mandate on independent contractors railroad her life. California Democrats passed Assembly Bill 5 (more commonly known as AB5), as a means of protecting workers rights throughout the state…

“There are all these very adult decisions that are at play when you freelance,” McDaniel says. “AB5 pretends that the state knows better than we do in making those decisions.”

Years ago, McDaniel tried a job with some of the benefits AB5 is telling her she needs. However, she quickly determined that type of career wasn’t for her. Teaching journalism at a local college, McDaniel says she was paid less per hour than any other job she’d had, but asked to do much more in terms of paperwork and everything surrounding it…

AB5 has brought McDaniel’s passion project to a grinding halt. For years, she’s been working on a book and wanted to produce an accompanying podcast. She paid for podcast training and was prepared to hire independent contractors to help produce and edit her work. AB5 now prevents her from legally being able to do that. 

After consulting with lawyers and people in the industry, she concluded, “I just can’t do it right now. The risks are too high.”

This leaves not only McDaniel out of work, but also, the contractors she had planned to hire.

Sophia Aguirre – “Sophia Aguirre has been a trilingual interpreter–spanish, english and sign language– for 30 years. Aguirre was inspired to become an interpreter at a young age because both of her parents were Deaf. While completing her undergraduate degree at California Polytechnic State University, Aguirre worked as a non-certified interpreter. After graduation, she took the national interpreter certification exam and became a certified interpreter…

With the implementation of AB5, California’s recent law that severely limits independent contractors, Aguirre has found her income slashed. She describes that most agencies or businesses that she works with don’t understand how AB5 applies to them: “They don’t even know what they need for me to do.” One agency decided that contractors need business cards, letter heading, and a website to be in compliance with the law. 

Aguirre explains that since the implementation of AB5, agencies view independent contractors differently: “Instead of being an asset to them, we’re a liability to them.”

Aguirre said that AB5 will destroy her life. “AB5 will not only disrupt my life, it will destroy my life,” she said. “My livelihood and everything I’ve worked for…. It will devastate me and place me in a different social-economic status. I’ve moved up slowly but surely, and it will destroy everything I’ve worked for.””

Jennifer O’Connell – “A traditional 9-to-5 job also never made sense for 54-year-old Jennifer O’Connell. A writer, yoga instructor, and career-reinvention coach, she prefers taking on an assortment of projects, rather than just one.

“It didn’t matter what time I did work, because I was talking to schools across the world,” she said. “That allowed me flexibility during my day to go teach my regular [yoga] classes for my part-time W-2 job and then come back and maybe work on an article, do interviews, or work on yoga certifications.”

Because of AB5, O’Connell said gyms and yoga studios can no longer hire her for occasional anatomy lectures anymore.

“They are moving training online, and that affects people like me who would go around and do lectures,” she said. “The small mom-and-pop studios aren’t going to open their doors again.”

Tucker Partridge – “Tucker Partridge, a 24-year-old marketing specialist who managed one of the team blogs under SB Nation, told me he was “completely caught off guard” by Vox Media’s announcement: “The way AB 5 was advertised, it would affect gig economy people, but it didn’t occur to me that I’m part of the gig economy.” He had just moved from Arkansas to the Bay Area, where his rent increased sixfold, and he had relied on his freelancing work to supplement his income. But he lost something more: “Not a lot brought me as much joy as writing for that site, and it was a heartbreak to let that go.””

Jen Kersey Ziegelman: “I wish I could say Happy New Year to you all, but AB 5 went into effect January 1st 2020 and as it stands now will cause all Performing Artists in California many heartaches, expense, and loss of income. Theme parks and other organizations are already canceling contracts and NOT hiring independent performers as the law seeks to make you all employees of every arts organization, event planner, agent, etc. that you work for. More will follow unless the law is repealed, replaced, or amended to exclude performing arts, artists, and organizations, event planners, and agents. On top of this I’ve been told that you would have to get, every year, separate Intellectual Property Rights Agreements from everyone that employees you otherwise, anything you create, develop, or have video taped will be owned by the employer, NOT YOU. Dream Shapers is trying very hard to fight this battle despite being a smaller arts organization and call for amendments and exemptions. Please RIGHT AWAY contact your assembly person, state senator, and the governor. Send an email or mail a letter to them.

Amy Woodward: “Personal Property Appraisal provides services for probate, insurance, and fair market value, etc. We are all independent and can no longer work, due to AB5.  Personal property appraisers go to people’s homes and evaluate their items, may be a whole house, may be some select pieces, we quote our hourly rate before we start the job and we set the hours with the client before starting. We prepare legal documents that are recognized by the courts and insurance companies. Many insurance companies have their own appraisers that write these documents, but I and many others specialize and are certified in antiques and collectibles. If an attorney or an insurance company needs a specialist in these types of items, they would normally call one of us to appraise the items. If an auction house needs my services to evaluate items brought in for auction, my services can no longer be used. If an estate sale company needs a specialist in antiques and collectibles, I can no longer be called to assist. Same thing is happening to gemologists. We get paid for our areas of specialty. No one can use our services, even a private party, thanks to AB5. They are afraid to! And I don’t blame them, not a bit. I love what I do, went to school to specialize in antiques and it breaks my heart that I can’t.

Pattie Meyers: “AB5 is destroying the pet sitting business due to having to hire as employees! I’m sorry but there isn’t enough profit in pet sitting but with ICs (1099s) we can expand our biz by servicing multiple clients. Many pet sitters are either closing their business or trying to do it alone. This law has to be stopped!

Bernard Barker: “My wife is sole proprietor of a pet-sitting business whereby she visits clients’ homes to take care of their pets when they are absent. She also stays overnight as an additional service to care for the pets in their home.  She works 7 days per week, sometimes up to 14 hours per day.  When she has excess business, or when we go on vacation, she offers business to two other pet-sitting companies, who cover her business for a short duration.  These people receive a 1099 and are considered independent contractors. She has built this business over the last 4 years with blood, sweat and tears.  At 59 years of age, she is building her retirement nest egg.  The people she uses earn the equivalent of $40 per hour and pay taxes. She has no choice but to reduce the size of her business and eliminate outsourcing of excess business which runs at about $50K per year.  The State will lose this income as will our supporting partners. She is one of thousands of pet sitters in the state all with similar stories, making a living the hard way.  Her competition are amongst others, Wag and Rover, who will dodge AB5 by being a referral business.”

Marc Topaz: “I’m an independent contractor. A graphic artist, not a driver. I LIKE and WANT to be independent. I don’t WANT to be W-2. AB5 is destroying my ability to do so. I’ve already lost work to it. It’s a bad law, and it needs to be repealed. If the goal is to target Uber, target Uber.

Freddy Perez – “Like many of the other half-million Californians  driving Uber and Lyft, Freddy Perez liked earning some extra cash as a rideshare driver to supplement his main income. He worked about 30 hours a week subcontracting as a fenestration testing technician, so on his off days, he would pick up Uber or Lyft passengers in his 2012 Honda Insight, earning about $18 to $20 an hour.

Perez didn’t need Uber or Lyft to survive. He made about $2,500 a week in his subcontracting job, which was enough to pay his $1,850 rent in a Los Angeles suburb and live comfortably. So when he first caught wind of California’s newly enacted Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5)—or the so-called “gig worker bill” that targets companies that hire independent contractors—he paid little attention to it, assuming it only applied to gig workers. Then two weeks before Christmas, he received a rude shock: His contractors told him they could no longer subcontract him because of AB 5…

For Perez, AB 5 basically obliterated his occupation. One of Perez’s contractors, an owner of a fenestration testing lab in San Bernardino County, offered to hire Perez as an employee at $20 an hour. It was a goodwill offer—the contractor admitted he didn’t have much for Perez to do full time. Taking that job would have meant swallowing a significant pay cut and making a daily 100-mile commute in LA traffic to do odd jobs such as sweeping the floors or filing reports. “That made no sense to me,” Perez told me: “That’s 10 hours of driving a week to basically do nothing. Literally, I could drive Uber and make that much.”

So that’s what he did. In an ironic twist of unintended consequences, Perez is now driving full time for Uber and Lyft because that’s what he could do at immediate notice. Instead of earning $2,500 a week, he’s now making about $600 a week. Perez and his girlfriend decided California is no longer a viable place to live. They bought a house in Florida and are selling whatever they can so they can move in April. Perez hasn’t found a job yet in Florida, and until he does he intends to drive Uber and Lyft.”

Hayk – “When the lawmakers make these laws, they don’t live our lives,” says Uber driver Hayk (who refused to give his last name). “They don’t live like we. They don’t struggle like we.  Imagine the hundreds of thousands of people who will stop doing Uber, where will they find another job? I have a big family in a two-bedroom creepy apartment. I pay $2,500. My wife got a full-time job. I have to pick my kids up or drop them off. I do that and come back to work, driving. What shift is going to let me do that other than this?

Joel Turk – “Joel Turk, a soft-spoken chef from Arcadia who looks like a younger, modern-day Smokey Robinson also says he would pass on becoming an employee with the rideshare companies. Turk owns various larger vehicles which he uses for his catering company and for delivering small items for UPS and driving for Uber and Lyft on the XL platforms.

“I’ve got four kids. This is the first year for me where they’re in four different schools,” he says. “So there’s drop-off, pick-up, in the morning, the afternoon, my cooking, my food prep, all of that. My driving is very specific when I need to go, but it’s great when it lightens up.” And he can fill in his downtime being a rideshare driver.

Brian Lee – “Brian Lee is a driver from Pasadena who drives between 50-60 hours a week. According to the new law, the rideshare companies that he would become an employee of would have to pay him overtime if he continued that practice, but odds are unless he received special permission, the app would not allow him to receive trip requests after 40 hours in a week. He would probably have to work for a second rideshare company if he wanted to drive those extra 20 hours.

“Every driver knows if you’re not driving over 50 hours a week, you cannot make any money,” Lee, who has been a driver for over two years, says with a laugh.

That too might change if the companies slash the number of available drivers on their fleet. Drivers like those waiting for hours for a ride at LAX would presumably be constantly busy since demand will remain the same but the supply of cars would diminish.”

Jonathan: “I drive Uber while I’m not in the classroom or university library. I drove when I can and when I want. AB 5 will rob my independence. AB 5 will take my income away. It will make me more dependent on student loans.

Jenna Busch: “I’m a freelance writer and my hard-earned career is about to be destroyed. Yours might be in jeopardy as well…

California Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, caps a specific category of freelancers — writers, editors, newspaper cartoonists and photojournalists — at 35 submissions per year per publication or company…

When I started in entertainment journalism, I was the only woman covering geek news.

On every set visit it was myself and 17 men. I was called a “fake geek girl” more times than I can count. I was told that I got my job because of my boobs, asked how many people I’d slept with so they’d write stories for me, and quizzed on everything from the different versions of Batman to my knowledge of obscure comics…

I want people to know that freelancers do this for reasons other than because we can’t get full-time jobs, and that many of us love the companies, publications and clients we contract with.

Jen Van Laar: “Jen Van Laar, a 47-year-old freelance journalist at RedState, a conservative political blog, said as a single mother of a son with a learning disability, she chose to freelance so she could attend parent-teacher conferences, volunteer at school, and help her son with his schoolwork. Then four days before the new year, her editor called and told her they couldn’t continue working with her unless she incorporated herself.

Setting herself up as an independent business would cost Van Laar at least $800 in taxes a year, and even that would not be a risk-free guarantee. With less than 96 hours to make a decision, Van Laar hurriedly moved to North Carolina, where she has family. There, she can continue freelancing for RedState, but her son remains in California with his adult brother because she doesn’t want to remove him from his special high-school program.”

Jared Lutz: “Jared Lutz, a 43-year-old father of two, used to subcontract with a home service company to clean residential windows in Palm Springs. When AB 5 went into effect, the company hired him as an employee. Overnight, Lutz went from earning $80,000 a year as a subcontractor to making $15 an hour—a barely livable wage in a high-cost area like Palm Springs. He tried to find other part-time jobs in his industry, but he said the market is already saturated with former contractors in the same boat.

“My family’s devastated,” Lutz told me: “We’re struggling to put groceries on the table now. We tried everything we could to figure out a way to exist within the law, and there isn’t a way.”

Marcus Pun: “Hi Joe [Biden], Lifelong Democrat since McGovern, union supporter, #freelancer that got slammed by #AB5. I am 65 and saw my income drop-collapse. Horrible law, we need repeal or OPT OUT. Here’s 15 seconds for your staff to check out. Can supply documentation.”

Nancy Hall: “I lost my contract at the end of the year to perform compliance inspections in pharmacies across the nation. Compliance is for good pharmacy practice with particular focus on non-sterile and sterile compounding. Other pharmacists in California work as ICs for work on rural locations and hospitals. It’s unbelievable to me that we were not included with the other professions due to extensive education and licensure requirements. That said, no reason any of our professions should be judged this way by people who know not what they do. I’ve been devastated by it. Almost 61 years old with a 39-year career in public health and public safety and now out of work. It’s sickening. I’m sick with my third illness since thanksgiving and I know it’s just due to stress. Pharmacists cannot work as ICs, I lost a contract with an out-of-state company that will go with only non-California contractors. They also don’t care if I get incorporated because interpretation of the requirements is not clarified for them to want to deal with.”

Kathy Seress: “I am a phlebotomist. I do life insurance exams and work independently with agents. I use an office in my house where I process blood specimens, print insurance forms, and use office supplies, etc. I have lost my independent status and cannot deduct any expenses from my taxes. I also teach how to run a medical device and travel to different states and provide tech support. I can no longer do this either, thanks to AB5.

Mary Anderson Harrison: “I am a photo stylist. I love the flexibility I have as a freelancer. I can choose to decline any job, even with my steady clients, with no negative repercussions. I’m 57 and working full-time in my occupation, is tiring. The other reason is that there just aren’t many in-house styling jobs where I live. A few companies have in-house stylists, but they pay way less than what I make as a freelancer. I get benefits through my husbands job, so I don’t need to work for the benefits. The majority of those in my industry are freelance (hair & makeup artists, photographers, art directors, etc). This is always how my industry has operated and it seems to work for everyone. I’ve had no issues at all, as far as needing government protection. I’ve been a photo stylist for over 20 years and though I have worked in-house in the past, it is just not an option where I live right now, but even if there were I prefer to freelance.”

Luke Munnell: “Most of my editorial clients rely on independent contributors like myself as key to fueling their daily/weekly content needs, since we cast a wider net and have better mobility than, say, a staff of writers and content producers, all centrally located in an office. Our arrangement is mutually vital to the nature of the business (as I’d assume to be the case with most of the journalism/editorial landscape today). AB5 forces businesses like my clients’ to drastically sacrifice performance for compliance, and several have had to sever ties with me and those like me already. AB5 is absolutely devastating not only to working professionals in situations like mine, but to the clients who rely on the goods and services we provide.

Debbie Thompson Photography: “I am a small business. I hire 1099 individuals based on the need, and not part time employees. I am hired for various production work that’s, also, nothing more than a 1099. My hands are tied and my business is essentially killed, if I can’t hire 2nd shooters or continue to contract as a videographer/editor. The companies will drop me if they aren’t allowed to continue to contract with me. My business is my life and I’ve spent over 20 years serving the Sacramento area and beyond. For over 20 years I have been a wedding, portrait & event photographer and freelance Television/media producer, videographer, editor, on-camera talent, etc. I hire skilled help, based on the particular job. I also 2nd shoot for other photographers/videographers.”

Frédéric Neema: “I am a professional photographer who shoots on a freelance and non-exclusive basis for magazines and corporations. My rates are based on the final usage of my images and I license them, after first publication, to other magazines through my stock agencies or directly. I still make money from images I created 35 years ago. This new law is basically taking away the ownership of my copyright when I work for companies that are in the same line of business as me such as magazines with staff photographers or production houses. I was a staff photographer for a news agency for years and quit despite excellent contract terms because I wanted to be independent and profit from the ownership of my copyright. Some people want to be employees et some like to be independent contractors. Let us be who we want to be.”

Anonymous: “Regarding wedding photography, while not all of us are freelancers/independent contractors (although many of us are on the side), most wedding photography companies are tiny businesses, often run by a husband-and-wife team. We hire assistant photographers/second shooters for every wedding we shoot, as that is standard in the industry. We have a small pool of other photographers (who also run their own businesses, and do second shooting to bring in additional money, however this doesn’t qualify them or us for the business to business exemption since they are doing the same exact thing we are), and use different people based on who is available for a given date. As a tiny business, we certainly cannot afford to make 6-7 people employees of our company, each of whom may work for us 2-5 days a year. We also on occasion sub-contract other photographers (for a small handful of dates) to shoot weddings for dates we are already booked, or to fit a lower price point that a client needs. We rely on this bit of extra income to stay afloat. So this affects not only the photographers who wish to hire themselves out on occasion to other photography companies to supplement their income, but is also crippling to tiny one- or two-person photography companies who rely on hiring independent contractors since it is not financially viable to have numerous employees (who may work for you 1 day a year, or 5).”

Bronwyn DeHavilland: “I’m a physical therapist assistant, I’ve worked in homehealth for the last 10 years. There is an entire group of healthcare providers that function this way nurses, aides, social workers etc…The jobs pay the highest in the industry, allows us our freedom, and help many of us pick of second and third streams of income.Thanks to several news laws affecting my industry, being able to pick up extra work is imperative, because we keep getting cut, and now my income, and many peoples safety net is gone. We all understand the nature of being 1099 contractors, nobody forces us to work this way we want to. It extremely hard in healthcare in California right now to make a decent living anymore. The agencies that are providing services to the patients are going out of building right and left, because of constant medicare laws and changes, they survive because of 1099 contract workers, it’s a win win for both sides. As we all know health care is in desperate need of reform, and is a mess, and now one more nail in the coffin.”

Joanne Rakich Bedwell: “I am a Physical Therapist and I do home visits on a private pay basis or (prior to 1/1/20) I got referrals from other sources to do workers comp cases or overflow for Medicare agencies. The 2 referral sources have said I must become an employee. Prior to 1/1/20 I clearly met the Independent contractor standards. I was free to decline or accept referrals as fit my schedule and desires. I provided and continue to provide all the “tools of my trade” including computer, treatment supplies, etc. I have clients that I where I have generated the referrals and a couple of companies that I have relationships with that send referrals. I have been very happy being flexible and taking care of my own taxes, disability insurance, retirement, etc. By becoming an employee for my referral sources my pay rate has gone down and I lose many of my deductions. I am now also much more limited as to how much I can contribute to my individual 401k. The referral companies are too small to offer benefits or 401k. One of them is not sure they can stay in business. All in all I am much worse off now. BUT I do feel fortunate that I still have sufficient work, unlike many I have hear about that are losing most of their work.”

Anonymous: “I have a pilates studio…13 years in biz…not sure if my story applies…but..The instructors that contract for me are LIVID Bc we’ve chosen to comply. It has been the most devastating experience. We first tried to give everyone the option to do an s Corp but then we realized it wouldn’t work for us and wouldn’t be legally sound after getting professional legal advice. We’ve spent about 2500 this far in legal fees on this. We are a small business as we have been growing our family we have been growing our business and since we just had our last child two years ago we were really ready to take our biz to the next level this year and revamp our website etc but all that money has gone to legal fees regarding ab5 instead…our margins are thin…we have always paid our instructors what they deserve and want we’ve never made them work anything they didn’t and they taught the way they wanted…all of them work at other places too….they are seasoned professionals. One told me after teaching Pilates for ten yrs…I guess I can no longer do this as a career anymore…I have to quit something I love. Many of us had cried so much over this ….in meetings etc it’s devastating to all of us…I tried to sell some of them on the perks when they become employees such as getting social security or workers comp…they were insulted.

Kimberly Baichtal: “I am a process server. AB5 is drastically affecting us. We have historically been independent contractors, some of us working for 5-10 companies at a time. It’s crazy to have to be employees of 5-10 companies now. There is not a clear list of requests to qualify for the exemption list.”

Deja Garver-Cole: “Regarding proofreaders, I’m a full-time official reporter employed by our county and I’ll still probably get dinged by this law because our transcripts are considered a side job that we pay out of our own pocket to produce, including hiring proofreaders to look them over before filing them and sending them to attorneys and litigants. So I guess every proofreader I hire I have to classify as an employee? Ridiculous.

Anonyomous: “I’m a psychotherapist working part time at a mental health clinic as an independent contractor 3 days a week and as a screenwriter 2-3 days a week- I emigrated to LA to pursue screenwriting not a health profession. In order to better support my work as an artist I became a psychotherapists I have two careers. I also avoid burn-out as a psychotherapist because of this set up. Working at a clinic makes it easier for me to have two careers because I don’t have to deal with administrative work which can be daunting in mental health. I can set my own schedule, have free rein on the therapy methods I use, etc etc and I also work in a setting where I’m surrounded by supportive colleagues. #AB5 ruins all of this. If I were to become an employee, my entire business model would implode and I would have to give up my creative career and work full time as a therapist and the only benefits I would get are 3 days paid sick leave and one week paid vacation. A value of 4,800 dollars because they would be set at minimum wage not what I actually earn). My lost income would be closer to 75K/year. I would also have to work full-time as a therapist to make ends meet and abandon my career as a writer. I opted to quit the clinic and open a competitive business next door. Several of my clients won’t be able to afford my new private fee. Only rich people will afford my services now or those with exceptional insurance. #AB5 claims to be about social justice which I’m sure it is for minimum wage workers with jobs that don’t require 6 years education. Its not benefiting specialized workers who earn a good income at all. As a result of AB5 my clinic will only hire PsyD because they are exempt (for no other reason than having a more powerful lobby. What’s social justice about that???). If I wanted benefits I would move back to Sweden. The only benefits I get from employment in CA are absolutely laughable and pathetic for anyone earning more than 75K/year. The state can keep them. #ab5 is about breaking apart small business owners and forced taxation. The creative industries and licensed professionals or licensed anyone in various fields are the collateral damage. #AB5 will destroy the pull for talent from all over the world as it will be impossible to support ourselves while pursuing a highly competitive artistic career. I would move back to Europe and get benefits most Americans can only dream of if I was forced to give up my creative career… why would I stay in CA??? The weather is nice but the cost of living among the highest in the world. North European level benefits will never be possible in CA for many reasons. Remember north European countries are very homogenous and easier to handle on so many levels than the diverse CA with extreme social problems that has nothing to do with tax revenue.”

Marina King: “In the radio broadcast industry, half the engineers are employed (generally by large groups comprising of several independent radio stations that they bought up and put under one umbrella). The other half are independent contractors, and their sub-contractors, who provide engineering services for non-profit or university-sponsored radio networks, or individual stations around CA. The ICs generally provide transmitter/antenna/construction services for a number of stations. Some radio programmers are also ICs. All these ICs would be forced to become employees or, more likely, leave the industry. There are already too few radio engineers for the amount of work that needs to be done. Why? It’s a 24/7/365 day a year job for employees and ICs alike. So, this industry needs everyone they can get, and many current ICs will NOT agree to become employees, even with the supposed “protections” employment offers (but which are exempt anyway because most employee engineers are salaried, not hourly). Does this make sense? Our family is hugely effected by AB5 if our radio stations do not choose to renew our contracts.”

Jason Smothers: “Real estate agents were added to the exemption list but not real estate appraisers. Why? Agents must work under a broker and appraisers who do lending work must get their work from appraisal management companies. This law is so poorly written and so not fair. Here is a good read on AB5 for appraisers. The appraisal management companies (AMC’s) can’t make money without the appraisers but are required by federal laws . The goal was to create a level of oversight between lending institutions and appraisers. The US federal government created appraiser independence requirements to prevent lenders from influencing appraisers from inflating property values. Thus, lenders would be prevented from issuing mortgages based on inflated appraisal values, a problem believed to have contributed to the housing crisis.I see no way around the new law for AMC’s. Appraisers certainly appear to be their employees under AB5’s criteria test. AMCs set the appraisal fees and have all kinds of requirements/conditions on their appraisal orders. I see lawyers and lawsuits coming in this field.”

Rich Bricker: “As an appraiser we exist to be independent yet not exempt. I have a national client that has stopped sending work to CA panel members as of 1/24 due to AB5. Going to directly affect loan origination time frames in many cases.

Martha Boyd: “30 year appraiser here. Per the Bureau of Real Estate appraisers currently 10562 licensed appraisers in CA: Trainees 7%, Residential 11%, Certified Residential 53% and Cert General (29%. Most residential lenders banks, credit units etc will only contract with Cert Res and Cert General. Trainers are trainees and generally can’t sign the report without a supervisor. In commercial real estate transaction only can a Certified General do the work. I am a Cert General and can appraise anything from your dog house to your shopping center. A Cert Resi can only do houses and up to 4 units. The average age of a CA appraiser is 63 yrs old. A large part of my work comes from appraisal management companies. These were set up after the 1980-1990’s loan crisis. Appraisers also had to become licensed because of this. Appraisers under our code of conduct must be independent. The management co is the buffer between the banks who were directing values and the appraiser in your loan transaction. A bank can no longs say you appraise the house at $$$ or we will not give you any more work. Now we can put any darn value on a property that we can justify. A major management company who operates in CA and has a major lender that we see tv adds multi times a day on tv just suspended all of its CA appraisers. I posted the announcement on this site a few days ago. This just cost me a $1000 +/- a month contract. I’m sure there are other appraisers who also work for said company. I now see my business of 30 years crumbling. I was training my son-in-law to take over when I decided to retire. Do the the hefty requirements to become an appraiser (4 yr college degree, 1500 hrs of apprentice (about 2 yrs and 150 hrs of education above your degree) not many are becoming trainees (7%) ouch. Oh real estate agents and their brokers were exempted. Not appraisers. There goes the real estate market in CA.”

Julia Thompson: “OK so my mom is a real estate appraiser and by the rules of California and Federal, an appraiser has to be an independent 3rd party so that there is no bias. Appraisers can not be hired strictly by say Chase Bank or Bank of America because what is to stop the banks from going hey kill this loan undervalue the property or we want to make this sale over inflate the value. That’s what caused the 2008 mortgage crisis. A lot of banks were contacting appraisers and saying can you do this and the unethical ones said yes. Those appraisers no longer practice in any state whatsoever because they broke the law. The reason why my mom’s business survived is because she told the banks how to go fuck themselves. My mom’s been getting a ton of ab5 letters and what’s been saving her is the fact that she has a TIN number. She has been a sole proprietor for 30 years. She’s fighting this crap. Appraisers by the very definition of state and federal law have to be independent.

Rebecca Greene: “My husband is a special inspector for commercial & real estate. He is contracted through multiple companies to oversee the building of structures. He was informed that he can no longer be a IC unless he purchases workers comp insurance & creates an LLC. He would have to become an employee for these companies. This is not realistic to do for multiple companies that he does work for. This is affecting 40-50 IC Inspectors for this company. He basically has to choose 1 company to be employed by, unless he jumps through the hoops to follow the AB5 law.”

Cynthia Gabaldon: “We do specialty building and/or environmental inspections. Many of us have full time jobs, but do this on the side. There are many of us who are retired and do this for extra money or to stay busy. Lastly, the bulk of us follow projects. We are only needed for the duration of the building project and then we move on. This has forced so many to stop working as if tomorrow OR some companies are forcing people to become employees but that impact is great due to taxes and lack of right offs. Also no more flexibility to get other work on our own. Most of us LIKE to work like this. We like the hustle, we like changing jobs. The mandatory S-corp, etc is just too much for most of those in this field. I do have an S Corp. I hire a scientist, once a year, for modeling work and I am now told I can’t use him anymore. This entire law is just ridiculous.

Mark Fausner: “I’m a loan agent for 28 years now I’m w2 . How will my broker pay for my health insurance . Benefits 401 k sick days etc .. I have been a mortgage agent for 30 years always 1099 and schedule c for my taxes writing my expenses off . I get all my business from my own marketing and leads and referrals . My employer broker is forcing me to go W2 now and I can’t deduct much unless my employer reimburse me for my expenses .What a joke . So now does my employer offer me benefits and a 401 k and if business shows do I go on unemployment . I should not be a w2 employee. To avoid that I will probably get my own brokers license . I also do other kinds of similar work that he doesn’t compensate me from other sources. This new law is only to collect for taxes there are some small brokerage firms not going along with this . Not sure what to do as of now . Why should realtors be exempt when we work with them hands on and are commissioned This law is trying to force our industry to work for the big corporations I feel it’s unconstitutional.

Kayla Lotstein: “I’m a CART provider and broadcast captioner. The same goes for our side of the industry. I caption for students in K-12 and college. I also caption government meetings, business meetings, large conferences, and television. So many students who rely on CART, so many weather emergencies and evacuations that are going to be even harder to get a captioner for in an already short-handed industry. So many lives affected. Closed captions on TV literally save lives in disasters when evacuation orders are issued. The difference between life and death could be determined by whether or not a TV station is contracted with a captioning agency that can afford hiring people as employees. Several agencies I’ve personally spoken to are trying to figure out what to do with AB5 and have said they’re just trying to not close their doors at this point. I share because our fields are related.

Maria Jones: “I’m a stenographer/captioner for broadcast television. (Provide live closed captioning for the deaf and hearing impaired) I’ve been a contractor since 2003. I’m getting dropped by in-state and out-of-state companies I work for because they don’t want the risk of a fine for continuing to give me work. The few companies that do employ pay lower rates than when I first started my career with benefits that when factored in with adjusted hourly rates do not even come close to my current wages. I’d be working an inflexible schedule with way more hours for tens of thousands less a year. The financial stress AB5 is putting on my family, those in my profession and others in professions not on the exemption is astronomical! We’ve GOT to fight this ridiculous bill!

AB5 Info: “There are approximately 500 Realtime Captioners who provide live captioning (like live closed captioning) for people who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing in California. More if we take into consideration realtime captioners working remotely from other states, who now will not want to work with CA companies/consumers if they have to be made employees at a much lower rate, or will lose those work opportunities if hiring agencies in CA cannot afford to have them as employees, or go out of business due to AB5’s restrictions. Several thousand sign language interpreters as well. The Deaf/hard-of-hearing public, a protected class under the Americans with Disabilities Act, loses access to an already insufficient pool of these highly skilled providers, lose access to their ADA mandated communication accommodations. Perhaps they file complaints, lawsuits, class actions against the State of California via the Department of Justice (ADA accommodations are a civil right), etc. But in the interim, their quality of life and civil rights have deteriorated under AB5. Feather in your cap, California?

Valerie ZunZun: “From a fellow voice actor and voice director… I’m incorporating, as I also have a company and a recording studio. But it will still strongly affect me (and my fellow actors) when I have NU gigs for others… As you said, only big corporations and companies can afford to employ artists for a short gig… (money and time wise…). I guess I’ll have to ask who’s incorporated? Stupid and sad.

Cheryl Kohler Wright: “I have a small business, an LLC, recruiting business. After years working in Corporate America, I started my business and built a huge network of professional talent. Several recruiting firms have called on me for the past 13 years to fill the jobs they are assigned. I added a partner since we were so busy. I matched hundreds of people in good jobs for years. Now I am no longer able to do this project recruiting work. I’ve been offered a minimum wage draw against commission role at one of my client’s firms, but now, at the age of 62, I have to abandon my clients, my partner and my good 100k+ income and go into an office every day with a group of young staff type recruiters. If I’m lucky I will earn 1/3 of my income last year. The office environment is also a bad fit and I don’t know if I can sustain it. I really want my business back. The only thing stopping me is the B-prong of the ABC test in the law that says I can’t contribute to the primary work purpose of the business. Small recruiting firms hired my LLC for their hard-to-fill assignments. I am also a lifelong Democrat, so this bill is shaking my Identity and faith to the core.”

Anonymous: “I am an anthropological researcher contracted to companies to help them expand into fields that aren’t their home country and teach them about cultural nuances they need to know. My career is in jeopardy and I’ve lost a lot of clients.”

Terri Tracy Harrah: “That is what we are doing… it’s a long term plan. We’ve been impacted by the new real estate laws as well so we are selling that business and moving it to NM, first. The attack on our Airbnb’s came second and now this is attacking my husbands musical career of which he has been an IC for 40 years…. also belongs to AFM which is going under…And lastly the vaccine mandates put my kids out of school as I have a vaccine injured child so we’ve been hit on all sides. I don’t need another sign to tell us that we are no longer welcome in our state. We are going where we are seen as humans that have real jobs. I will most likely keep a portion of our Airbnb biz here until they make that 100% illegal. I’m a typical lib/Dem that just voted myself out of my own state.”

Lina Torres Deluna: “Rig welders are also independent contractors. They work off their truck as needed with different companies at times same company for months or years .depending on how long the job they have to finish. Rig welders have all their equipment on their truck. Like their office. Oil field companies hire them on a needed basis when they need repairs to equipment, kind of like a handyman, but for welding. They provide the tools and materials. Some jobs take days when others can take months .These men invest thousands of dollars on equipment to be prepared to work when called on. They can make up to $200 thousand as independent contractors. Some oil field companies have on-site welder, but at times need more help, as temp only.

Matthew Gilbert: “Timber cruisers put in statistical plots to measure the trees, etc.  If you are worried about sustainably harvesting timber, want to quantify the carbon sequestered, are planing a harvest and need to know how much wood you’ll be delivering to the mill, or need to quantify particular types of wildlife habitat, cruising timber is the way it is done. Generally when you need a cruiser, you have a project due a short period of time, so contacting makes a lot more sense.  I’d guess that there are fewer than 200 in the state.”

Santa Ed Hatz: “There are about 250 Professional Santas in the Southern California area and 600 in the state. I am guessing less than 10% are actually set up as a legitimate business. Most are too old to understand what they need to do. If this law is not repealed by Thanksgiving, you may see a serious absence of professional Santa Clauses this Christmas.”

Santa Jerry: “Today I lost my 10+ year job as Santa. The agent is replacing all Santas living in California with out of state Santas to get around AB5. I am sad beyond description. All the children who come to me year after year, their families, I will miss them terribly. Plus I just lost 1/2 my annual income. All for this terrible law. Insanity.”

Jeff Sherman: “I have two careers: one as a scopist (transcript editor for court reporters). I lost that job at the beginning of January when the law took effect. My client can’t afford to make me an employee and she just threw in the towel and retired. I can’t get arrested as a scopist right now. The other career is as a professional musician. The main bandleader I work for made all nine of us employees. He has had to raise the price of the band by over $600/gig to cover payroll costs. This is going to result in next to no business. It’s devastating. The musician’s union wants us all to join and they helped push this law. The musician’s union benefits you if you are in the SF Symphony or are one of the elite that play in the pit orchestra of Hamilton. For the rest of us, it makes no sense to just pay work dues on every job when we already make several times more than union scale. And their pension plan is on the ropes and they are cutting it back.

Anonymous: “Theme parks often contract outside vendors (generally seasonal performers for various festivals, and specialty acts/skills for various needs) that can no longer hire these people in any capacity. They usually get brought in for a day, a week, a few weeks, and then go back to business as usual. Of course, theme parks have money. But when you consider the 40%+ added cost to put these already very expensive specialists on payroll then cover them for insurance, etc, it can pull thousands of dollars from daily operations. Which means regular employees conceivably could have hours or jobs cut. In reality, they just aren’t going to hire the cool bands, DJs, artists, etc anymore because they need daily operations to… operate. It is those specialty artists who lose out. Think: holiday caroling groups, music bands and DJs for summer festivals, drawers and painters, etc.

Kathleen Merrill: “I have had a CA S Corp for 25 years. I have had a business license that entire time, as well. I have an employee and MORE than fully complied with all Federal & CA regulations and taxes, workers comp, decent salary, unlimited sick time & vacation time, pay for his health ins 100%, etc. The ABC test is a breeze for me to pass.  EXCEPT my clients are so afraid of this new law, they just are ceasing to use any sub-contractors located in CA. Since the day this law passed, I have had no business contracts at all. None. Zero. Unless things change, and change fast, my little company will go from “doing pretty good” to going bankrupt. Which will result in me being a 63 year old widow who was making a good living and buying a home to a homeless 63 year old widow with no health insurance or income. I am sure there are many others out there in my same dire situation. At this point, it looks like my only chance will be to sell my house and move to another state. This means I would be leaving my 90 year old parents to try and get along without me.”

Elisa E. Brent: “I am over 50 and now unemployed thanks to AB5. I would love to get AARP on board. I am also in San Diego (La Mesa).”

Sarah Munro: “As a freelance sign language interpreter I can no longer work with agencies to fill the needs of deaf clients within a community. None of us can. The agencies are trying to figure out the best way to proceed. Some want us to get LLC’d before we work for them but that’s not logical given the expenses to even do business in CA as a ‘business’ of one person. We have lost work, hitting our livelihoods hard. We have mortgages, kids, elderly to take care of, everything and anything a human could experience and juggle in life and now to worry about money. My biggest issue, is not for myself, but for the deaf clients going unserved. Their world has already been discriminated against or manipulated for so many years we are supposed to be their advocates in equal access to their education, health care and more. Without us, they have no services. I’m already hearing from past clients that they have no idea what’s going on with their health when it comes to doctors appointments as the hearing aren’t empathetic to their situation at all. There has to be a legality issue with AB5 and interpreters. Not providing services to them violates ADA laws, but now we can’t serve them unless we are LLC’d.”

Jodie Fuller: “Hello. My story probably is the common experience. I have lost the complete ability to make a living. My freelance career is gone. I lost all 3 of my agencies. California seems set on destroying honest working people. Our agencies are just beginning to list their new requirements. Their HR departments are behind in getting everything ready to fully “fire” us. I lost one agency even before the new year. My other two have just sent me the requirements and made it clear that noncompliance means no work. I have weeks and weeks of assignments on my docket that will get turned over. I hear a lot of stories from our Deaf and HH clients. They are going without communication access already and it is only going to get worse. Live one on one interpreting will suffer. They will be forced to accept computerized options that will freeze and not be best. There are a lot of my colleagues experiencing the same as me. The Deaf community struggles to get equal access all the time…especially in medical/hospital settings…this has made it worse. Think about needing to understand End of Life directives.”

Adina Kaplan: “Something to consider regarding Sign Language Interpreters in particular.
Our services are primarily (I don’t have numbers) to provide access and to comply with Federal ADA Law. Interpreters work in the k-12 school systems, at universities, doctors appointments, Emergency Room visits, Social Security and DOR appointments, interviews, staff meetings, etc…Again, I don’t have numbers but aside from some number of school districts and universities who do direct hire, nearly ALL of the other services are provided via agencies who contract Interpreters working as independent contractors, most of whom work as sole proprietors and do NOT have an S-Corp or LLC status. If AB5 is to go into immediate effect, and if the agencies with the contracts with the hospitals, doctors clinics, social service organizations, etc, can’t send from their pool of ICs, all of these jobs will go uncovered. MILLIONS of Deaf in CA will not have the access and communication provisions that are by law required. Businesses, schools and even the gvmt agencies that offer services to the Deaf will be out of compliance. How is this even legal?! I know that about 15 years ago CA put into place a minimum standard for Sign Language Interpreters in k-12 schools (thankfully! Since people were in the classrooms as “interpreters” but had almost no ASL knowledge). At that time they had so many “interpreters” who were below the standard skill levels that they had to keep adding windows of time for compliance to the new law.
This seems just as egregious since I am certain many medical appointments will go without access

Gloria Rivera Baldassari: “I know a CDI (Certified Deaf Interpreter) who was offered an employee position, then withdrawn, then informed he could not longer “go back” to being an IC due to “the new laws in California”. It is already affecting Deaf people.

Robin Dragoo: “Most agencies are small business owners that wouldn’t be able to hire the amount of interpreters needed to cover most jobs in the state. Costs definitely would go up and only the largest agencies (whether they are located in the state or outside the state) would barely be able to keep up with the demand for qualified interpreters.”

Cheryl Gallon: “What is so frustrating to many ASL interpreters is that the Deaf community, an already severely marginalized community, are the ones who will be impacted worst. They will loose their ADA rights to access the courts, their doctors, their places of employment, their education…and any other facet of life in which you communicate with another person.”

Julie Steele Casaccia: “We’ve been told by one of the largest agencies that unless we have an LLC by February, our contracts will be void. This agency provides all of the ASL interpreters for LAPD, City of Los Angeles, DCFS, etc… (1k plus jobs a month) there is already a SEVERE shortage of us.The 800 number quoted only includes certified interpreters. CA doesn’t require certification so there are a LOT who are working unaccounted for and will be impacted as well in this. Another thing, CSUN, in trying to save money is contracted with an agency as well. Guess who won’t be getting services.. yup, Deaf/Hard of Hearing students and faculty. I wonder if lawsuits generated by this specific shortage will be what finally makes the difference.

Jo Arthur: “I am an American Sign Language Interpreter. I provide interpreting services between Deaf, Hard of hearing and hearing people. I got my business license after AB5 passed. One of the largest agencies in the area said it’s not good enough, they want me to get an LLC. I cannot afford them costs to getting an LLC and paying the $800 tax. I will be losing about $1,000 per month just from this one agency. We are a single income family as I support my husband as he goes to graduate school. The requirements are crippling. No one is making us W2 employees. We are simply losing our jobs.”

Valerie Pierce: “I am a singer and have been for many years. On January 15th I woke to find all the shows I had scheduled for the year canceled due to AB5. This has created great financial hardship and taken away the opportunity to be paid for doing what I love.”

Dyan Kane: “Because I run the show, I must consider myself a boss with employees, and, as always, issue 1099s, etc… but now with AB5, am I now supposed to cover all taxes and health care too? It’s not clear to me. I’d be happy to make a “set” band, and call it a company, and be happy to take care of all that, but I do not play with the same peeps all the time. I started singing Jazz on the streets and subways of NYC, and now, busking on the promenade in Santa Monica completely sidesteps all the AB5 BS until politicians can fix the issue for us musicians!!

Kimberly Walker: “I am a single mom, and many IC are single moms. We are always getting dumped on, but I never thought my own party would do this. Please let them know it’s Democrats that are upset as well. I don’t care what party fixes this, but this needs to get fixed. I spent 9 years building my business (a small tech company), and a site we work with will NOT work with our CA IC anymore (the company is based in Seattle). The first three years building my business I made almost no profit. And now that it is off the ground, AB5 comes out. We are not sitting quietly.

Anonymous: “I will just share my experience with you from a small business perspective when it comes to AB5 and what that destructive law will do to business’ if trial attorneys get ahold of companies: Most small business can not and do not survive labor law suits like the author of this bill is pushing. You simply can not win and go broke trying. A company follows the rules (even under the advice of counsel) and the rules get changed and now everything is retroactive with penalty’s! It it extortion plain and simple.  Trust me, I know. When a labor judge tells you that there is no “justice” or “fair” for business’ in CA labor law, you know our system is broken. Labor laws are written by with a level of ambiguity on purpose. The only winners are the attorneys (the big winners) unions, politicians and the state (they receive a piece of any class settlement).  The only companies that will survive in CA are those with deep pockets. Employees that like to work for small business’ will unfortunately be out of luck as there will be very few that will survive. What people don’t realize is ALL the insane labor laws this will retroactively impose on these business’ (meal and rest breaks included) Based on my experience, I would never open a business or hire employees in CA again. California is anti-small business and free will.”

Shawna Dawson Beer: “We do a few things (all related to marketing and events ) but the two cases we’re dealing with are 1) a contractor, with a tight contract and arbitration clause, who walked out on a one year contract three months in leaving us holding the bag who then made a bogus claim she was misclassified and was owed overtime and penalties (?!). Meanwhile, she had at least two other clients and was working f/t. She was awarded 7k (more than she’d already earned the two months she half heartedly worked). This was back in January. Hi And 2) a person who worked on a one day annual charitable event who was hired by a subcontractor working for an agency we hired to staff. Yes, a third party to a third party we never met or engaged with who worked one day and we cut a $296 check for. This person has also claimed they were misclassified and owed overtime and waiting time penalties. That claim is $5800. The irony is we’ve been so paranoid since that first claim (first time we’ve had any kind of claim brought against us in ten years in business and we were truly stunned someone could boldly lie and win) that we’ve been airtight using agencies and now we know even that can’t protect you. It’s open season and just about anyone making a bogus claim will get a payout regardless of the circumstances. So now we’re hiring no one. It’s lose lose. They’ve been applying Dynamex for the last 18 months. AB5 just codified it into law. As our lawyers have aptly remind us… you (the employer) will always lose with the labor commission. Always. It’s what they’re there to do. Contracts between ICs and clients ARE useless. They mean absolutely nothing in front of a labor commissioner. Ditto small claims judges. An outside company whose work has nothing to do with yours can hire you as an IC under the B2B relationship. Anyone you subcontract to help with the work would be subject to the ABC test and need to be an employee. It’s unconscionable bordering on encouraging fraud. Our lawyer told us to brace ourselves for class action (since unscrupulous attorneys are out there encouraging these unbeatable cases) because if that happened (some of our projects use 40+ support staff for one day only) and they audited us for the last ten years (which they do; we know someone with a small bar staffing company going through that now) we’d be crippled. And don’t even get me started on the fact that the labor commission is now piercing the corporate veil and making shareholders and their assets personally liable for claims against a corporation. And the fact that small companies like ours that have no employees aren’t eligible for any type of insurance to protect against these claims. We gross less than a million a year and net a fraction of that. Why would we keep doing business here? How could we keep doing business here?

Kate Paguinto: “I’ve been a freelance social media manager for a little over a year now and hate what AB5 is doing to the gig economy. I intentionally chose the freelance life because I didn’t want to be anyone’s employee but my own. Now I’m filing an LLC for my social media biz because it looks like b2b services are exempt. My concern now is that I had planned on hiring other social media managers on a contractor basis to help me with my workload. AB5 is making it more difficult for me to do so which means I can’t scale my business because I can’t afford to hire employees. Not only that, but there are so many amazing freelancers out there that could really use the money from the clients I’m bringing in. Sorry to rant, but this is definitely something I’m fired up about. If there is any course of action I can take (or partake in) please feel free to share!!”

Arpineh Keshishian: “I’m a LCSW and home health social worker provider company. I had a huge contract canceled and waiting for the other shoe to drop. I have a lot of friends in industry that are Physical Therapists/Occupational Therapists/ Speech Language Pathologist providers, and they are all just waiting too. It doesn’t help that Medicare also just cut reimbursement and number of visits for agencies as of Jan 1st! The home health industry is in a really bad shape.”

Anonymous: “I am a licensed clinical social worker. I am contracted as a 1099, brand new client at an intensive outpatient program, and I’m terrified that I will lose my livelihood. I don’t see how it passes the ABC test.  I get paid at a very good rate as a 1099, and that could go away if I am on the payroll.

Jeff Beckenbauer: “I am a software developer/IT professional, providing services as an independent contractor. Recently, several potential clients I’ve been negotiating with suddenly became scared and turned me away, citing these “new AB5 regulations” in California. So, I unexpectedly lost those potential clients to my competitors from outside the state. The turning point came when a longtime client of mine decided not to renew our contract. Here’s basically what they said in a nutshell: “Litigation risk is too high. We don’t have a large legal department for that. We’re going to have to try out of state going forward. Sorry.” That was the client I depend on to pay rent and other living expenses to support my family. AB5’s vague and complicated legal landmines immediately scare away all my potential clients. And, subcontracting (also a very common business model in our industry) is made virtually impossible under AB5. In summary: AB5 attacks my sources of income in every possible way and practically destroys any possibility of making a living in my industry as an independent Software developer/IT professional.

Jamey Scott: “I’m a sound designer. Not quite music related but some of the same tools are involved in my craft and I live a similar kind of life inside of the gig existence. There are fewer than a few hundred of us working as actual freelancers in Hollywood, as most are employed by the studios or post production houses, but I’ve been at it as an independent contractor for 17 years and that is now being affected by this legislation. It was already hard enough to work at the studios as a loan-out contractor paying my S-corp and it prevents me from working at certain studios, but now other studios are closing up even considering it because they don’t want to risk it. This was all very predictable at the start of this thing.”

Kenny Hochman: “I am a freelance sound engineer. I have been contacted by out of state companies that used to hire me directly to tell me that now I need to register with a labor company of their choice so that they can hire me through them, essentially putting a middle man between me and my income. I have been building my business for years and now that I am finally making enough to be able to save on top of raising two, soon to be three girls, they are creating a law that makes me more of an expense and a liability and sends me back to begging for hourly jobs where someone else is taking a slice of my pie. I hope we can change or repeal this law before I’m forced to relocate.”

Anthony Harris: “I’m a very small cog in the audio production industry. AB5 has been a chain work train wreck, in that my work can, and has been curtailed, due to lack of independent working musicians, lack or larger production companies unable to hire short term subcontractors, and the increase in overall costs, from reclassification of workers, such as workers compensation, and income tax payments, and processing. Some of these increased costs, have to be passed on to my clients.

Sam Mikelic: “I’m a Freelance Sound Mixer. I lost a contract this week from a Film Production Vendor in Arizona because they are unclear if I need to be their employee or not, so they are staying away from California freelancers at this time. So infuriating! It’s expensive to market yourself to be found, and now thanks to confusion about a poorly written and unnecessary law campaigned for by a Assemblyman on a personal/ big union funded mission I’m out that money.

Amanda Geer: “… the special education services should be protected if they have an IEP or a disability (ADA)…the problem is, if they are having to pay for staff employees, finding those that are willing to only work at that site or for that district could be challenging, causing delays in services and breeches the IEP…and, they may have to pay more for this employee(s) as far as benefits and sick pay, etc, that it makes you think about what other services might be cut to afford it? Sports? Fine arts? Clubs? New supplies? Technology?

Sandra L Renfro-Wilson: “I am a Speech Language Pathologist. I am a mom or two children in elementary school and I have a spinal cord Injury and use a wheelchair full time. I cannot work full time due to my disability. I have contracted with 5 adult day health centers for 7 years. I provide speech and language services to adults who suffer from Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, stroke, head injury, and developmental delays. Many of my clients have difficulty swallowing and I help determine a safe diet along with compensatory swallow strategies for them so they can maintain adequate nutrition and hydration on an oral diet. I work for each day center 2 x a month from 9 to 2. The hours are perfect for me as a Mom and for my disability. I have lost 2 contracts since January. I have 3 left, however they don’t know how they can keep me on. None of my contracts can afford to hire me as W2, nor do I want to sign on as an employee. I contract with multiple companies. I have my own business for 7 years. I have benefits through my husband. It doesn’t make sense to be hired for 2 days a month. I provide my own materials, make my own schedule etc etc. I don’t know what will happen to all of my patients. This bill also effect all of the physical and occupational therapists I work with. This is destroying the care we provide and our livelihood.

Heather Ares: “Speech Language Pathologist. No company will be able to retain good SLPs at the low rates required to sustain employing for a PRN position. Many of us are PRN exclusively or outside of our regular employment (ICs). It is by choice and allows us to specialize or increase skill set or take time to be parents or be disabled but still work and not rely on disability. No way would I travel in homes for the low rates quoted to lose freedom and specialist opportunities and only a few hours a week. With PDPM and now AB5 you will see very quickly an increase in re-hospitalizations of home health patients and I would venture to guess increase in rate of demise of home-bound or elderly patients who require our care post-acute. You will see a decrease in freedom of choice for heathcare providers in the ancillary/rehabilitation domain. New grads entering the field who are seeking medical positions, but starting in school-based positions, will no longer be able to build their experience in medically based services during after-school/breaks/weekends as ICs to keep up with their enormous student loan debt. A masters degree is entry level for our field. We are paid well over the minimum wage as IC. As employees only, with no protections, there is a risk analysis that must be done whether the risk of the student debt is worth the low pay with restrictions on classification, which would further burden our field with needs not met in shortages. Our scope includes but is not limited to: speech, language, swallowing, voice, cognition, social pragmatics. We have to work against AB5 and PDPM to provide ethical and competent services but will likely be risking our employment to keep our licenses. This is the sad truth. AB5 is restrictive to accessing quality healthcare.

From KUSI-TV report: “Eileen McLean, a former job developer lost her job as an independent contractor due to the bill’s requirements that freelancers must register as a small business or be considered employees of a company. “Now [companies] can’t use me because of AB5,” says McLean. “They don’t have the budget for full-time employees and they need contractors, and I need flexibility.  I have a 94-year-old dad to take care of so it was perfect.” Gonzalez-Fletcher says she feels differently about independently-contracted jobs. “These aren’t jobs,” she says. “These are freelance positions that may be three hours a month, or may be 300 hours a month.” She also says if individuals want to be a business, “AB 5 allows for that. You can be a sole proprietor, you can work as many times as you want for any organization, you just actually have to be a small business.” McLean disagrees, saying “the state needs independent contractors.  The state cannot do all the work with their current staff. I need the job and they need me.”

Julie Ann: “I freelance because I have a child with severe mental illness. Her needs don’t allow for me to work outside the home.”

Donna Biroczky: “Some of us are moms who started freelancing to raise their disabled/special needs kids. It’s been a gamechanger for us and while my kids are all young adults now, I still have one with special needs. I have a job still, and part of their guidelines are no second job…not just a non-compete statement (which is kind of standard in certain industries which I support) but a ‘you may not have a second job.’ So many things were not considered in this bill.”

Andi HK: “I enjoy being a freelance professional because I have medically vulnerable children.  I can maintain my career,  provide for my family,  care for my family,  and provide them with a quality homeschool education since they are prohibited from attending brick and mortar schools.”

Elizabeth Grace Ankeny: “I’m a former teacher, now turned stay at home mom. My husband works full time and I have had a variety of independent contracting jobs (posting ads for businesses, stuffing envelopes, teaching English online through VIPkid) that have helped our family to earn just that *little bit* extra that we need. It’s been wonderful because these are things I can do while my kids are asleep, from the comfort of home, while I contribute to my family. I knew exactly what I was getting with each of these jobs. I am prepared to set aside 40% of my pay, forgo benefits/healthcare, etc. This is what works for us, and I’ve been SO grateful. If I wanted healthcare/benefits/ all of that I’d go BACK to teaching in a brick and mortar! This is very frustrating to see just how many people are being affected by this.

Sharon M. Gully: “I am a full-time mom, who homeschools two talented children, while caring for my 87 year old mother. One child is already dedicated to a music career path and the other is leaning toward being an artist. I teach art and provide support for local projects as an IC. It’s the only way to support their goals while simultaneously caring for my aging mother and putting food on our table.”

Kassy Jo: “I grew up poor and receive no financial support from my family. I am putting myself through graduate school. I cannot take a full time job because of school. I rely on freelancing to survive.”

Mary Williams: “I am President of the Board of the Temecula Valley Symphony.  We are a registered non-profit.  We have volunteer musicians and hire gig performers for some concerts .  We cannot afford the overhead necessary to do payroll nor due to AB5 want the risk, for these freelance gig performers.  So we will not be hiring them. Many will lose work.

Daniel Morris: “Why did they not at least include a standard for the number of hours per quarter someone works for a particular entity? I’m hiring an orchestra in May for a total of nine hours. That should not make them employees! They work for multiple organizations.”

Nikki Guy: “I am an online English as a second language teacher, and it’s still unclear if we’re impacted or not in the long term. In the sort term, they have cut off any new contracts to teachers in California. Most of my fellow teachers and I are waiting to see what happens, but that’s already hundreds or thousands of people without jobs they could have gotten. there are a lot of companies where people work from home teaching English to kids in China. It’s awesome for its flexibility – we set our own hours, teach our own way, etc. But it’s complicated because everything works through their system. We are one piece of the puzzle. The company I contract with basically has the technology, marketing, and a teacher at the home office in China who helps with anything they need in Chinese. Then the students/ parents schedule classes in 30 minute increments with the teacher one on one to practice in a full immersion environment. I’ll be the first to admit some of their policies make it questionable if we’re ICs or not, but it makes absolutely no sense to make us employees. We’re much closer to IC than not. We might have an exemption based on the exception for tutors, but it’s a big unknown right now. So far they’re keeping us, but not  offering new contracts to anyone in California.

Kat Hinckley: “Online English Teacher here. We set our own hours and determine if and when we want to work – no weekly/ monthly requirements. The company already stopped hiring new teachers from California and the rest of us are worried about what happens as the 6 month contracts need to be renewed in the coming year. One Facebook group (for teachers for this company in California only) has 500 members and I know that’s no where near all of us.”

Yvonne Renee Hunt: “This month I have lost my contract as an SAT proctor. We verify their paperwork and make sure that they are the correct person to be testing, then we administer the test, while also monitoring for cheating.”

Robert Seutter: “I tell stories for a living. Celtic, Norse, Historical, Middle-Eastern, Medieval and more. There are not that many of us out there, and it’s hard to make a living at it, even though the art form is ancient and very   useful. I also teach it. This year, the phones have been very quiet. Like most gig-based performers, I have a variety of clients, schools, faires, museums, libraries, cultural festivals. Often I will get repeat gigs, same client, but different venues. Clients are afraid to book IC’s. And they are not set up to make me a W2 employee for one or two one hour gigs. And since I perform for their clients, I don’t pass the “B” in the ABC. The tales and the legends of Arthur, Thor, Queen Medb, and Hodja Nasruddin May have to leave this state, if this Teller is going to survive.”

Richard Stephen: “I occasionally hire transcribers, and often these are local college journalism students. I pay per minute of interview, and it works out to $20-$30 an hour depending on how fast they are. Am I going to hire them as W2 employees? Certainly not. By the time I add the cost of a payroll service (I’ve had a full-time employee before, I know what that costs) and all the added stuff, it doesn’t make sense – especially since it amounts to a few hours a year. Plus administering all that stuff will take up all the time I save by hiring a transcriber in the first place. As much as it pains me, I’ll have to hire a service when I need transcription help. Instead of a California student earning above minimum wage, it’ll end up being someone outside the state, likely earning only minimum.”

Lorri Cald: “Transcribers. Many work for companies outside of California and have already been informed that their services have been replaced by transcribers in other states. So far I still have a job but that might not last long. The ridiculous thing is that we might still be able to qualify under the requirements of this law as 1099 subcontractors, but it doesn’t help if no one will hire you. I don’t know the numbers of people affected.”

Renee Silverman: “I have a small trans company and stopped using CA ICs in Nov. I spent the end of 2019 talking endlessly with lawyers, accountants, and HR specialists. B prong is the problem. B2B is still questionable. Until language is clear I’m forced to work with my out of state transcribers.”

Carolyn Comings: “I began working as a medical transcriptionist in 1972, and I held a CMT (Certified Medical Transcriptionist) credential for much of my career. I functioned both as an employee and as an independent contractor throughout my adult life. Now I am semi-retired because my hands and wrists just can’t take the strain of full-time typing anymore. I have done some general transcription for online companies including one called Rev, in which freelance transcriptionists can accept as many or as few jobs as they like, at any hour of the day or night, as long as there are audio files in the queue. This was a great solution for those of us who wanted to keep our skills sharp but could no longer work full time as an employee of a transcription company. A great solution, until Rev pulled out of California because of AB5.”

Rosanne Limeres Simek: “Sharing my story with you all. I’ve been working as a freelance transcriber from home, for around 15 years. I’m also a professional singer and actress, and improv teacher. I do many things to piece together a living, because the nine to five corporate life is not for me. I have been told by the transcription companies I work for that they can no longer work with me. I have lost around 75% of my income. I am devastated and angry. This is unacceptable. I feel like moving from California. If this starts affecting my singing income, I will leave. I am having sleepless nights, depression and anxiety. Do you have any idea how many transcribers are now out of work? Someone mentioned suing Lorena G. I have had that thought. Is that even possible? I am so angry my blood is boiling. Who is she to think she knows what’s best for me? I’m trying now to get temp work to stay afloat. This is not okay.”

Dori Lehner: “For the last 11 years, I’ve been an independent transcriber, supplementing my social security income by doing general transcription – not medical, legal, or court reporting, but everything else: business, academic, government, insurance, webinars, podcasts, focus groups, etc. I’ve had a few private clients, but mostly contracted with online agencies, all of whom have now said they can no longer work with me. I know we are more impactful as a group and that there are associations for court reporters and for real-time speech-to-text transcription, but I’m not sure who I could align myself with to advocate for change to AB5.”

Mariann Geiser: “I’ve worked for a wonderful transcribing company for years now. Two weeks ago, they sent a very sad email saying that even though they had hoped to find a way around AB5, there was none to be found. They promised to hire me back if the law was ever repealed. I am heartbroken. Who the heck are these people who think they can dictate my choice of work and income? I LOVED my career as an independent contractor. It allowed me to supplement my social security income, babysit my grandchildren, take time off when I was sick with COPD without losing my job and assured me I would very likely never have to deal with a company layoff – that is until the State of California decided to take away my freedom to earn a living at my chosen career. I encourage everyone to vote the author of this bill out of office along with her cronies and elect people who respect the freedom of independent workers and all the freedoms that come with living in our great country.”

Ildiko Santana: “As an independent contractor I have been a freelance translator & interpreter in California for 20 years, member of the American Translators Association. It took me 20 years of hard work to build up my clientele, and one signature to lose it all on January 1, 2020, by the new labor law, Assembly Bill 5 (AB5). The effects of AB5 will be devastating on our industry and on me personally. My 50+ agency clients will not hire me as an employee and I will no longer be contracted to service my clients as an independent contractor unless I get incorporated or leave California. The financial and administrative burden is tremendous. I received cut-off notices from my clients just before Christmas, and have already lost most of my livelihood overnight. Lawmakers made no exemption for translators and interpreters; this destructive and nonsensical law takes “free” out of freelance. AB5 is an immediate threat to my livelihood.”

Isis Bolaños Rivera: “As the owner of a small language service provider I am in the same boat as you guys with AB5. I have long-standing relationships with clients and independent contractors. This is the only organization that is offering a legitimate movement to create an exception for interpreters and translators. They recommend that you contact your legislators and tell your story. Check out the website and join the movement!

David Higbee: “I’m a freelance conference interpreter, translator (Japanese, Spanish and English), voiceover studio, musician and producer, and basically AB5 will negatively impact EVERY type of work I do.  Fascinating article in the NYT 5 days ago. My main takeaway? At least 2/3 of those who work as ICs do so by personal choice for OTHER than economic reasons. In the case of interpreters and translators, that number has to be closer to 90-95%. We’re 1000x better off being self-employed than otherwise. I know from personal experience – I was an in-house translator for 2.5 years, and it nearly destroyed me. It is NOT the government’s job to tell us how many jobs we can or can’t have, or limit our right to work as independent contractors. Please contact your local state gov’t reps, and be smart about it. Just meeting with them and bitching about the law won’t actually help, we need to present data, show them that we’re already losing jobs, and get a commitment from them to amend this terribly conceived law. Btw, if anyone in the LA South Bay area, I’ll be meeting with Al Muratsuchi in January, let me know who wants to join me. Comment here or dm me. Let’s beat AB5.

Robert Sette: “In my industry (foreign language written translation), it means that translation companies are dumping ANY vendors in California who are not incorporated. Hypercorrection, and it will take months, if not years, to undo this damage.”

Eo Yoon Kyung: “I am a Korean translator. I lost 90% of my income at the beginning of this year. Agencies are not sure what to do with this law. Some of the agencies are giving me an option to go incorporate myself to keep working with them, which is really expensive and I’m not sure if it would make sense to do so, considering how little I may make this year (if you incorporate yourself, there’s $800 minimum tax you have to pay regardless of your income. You pay this even if you make nothing), and some are simply ending contracts with me without giving me any alternatives. Translation jobs are borderless. Agencies can hire anyone out of the state or as a matter of fact, anywhere in the world! All this law did was making companies stop using translators in California, nothing more. The law does not understand how the translation industry works. I’ve worked hard to get where I am. Please give me my choice and life back.”

Esther M. Hermida: “I’m an S-Corp (GeoLingua, Inc). self-employed certified Spanish interpreter for 26 years. I’ve been impacted because half my work comes through colleagues, we contract one another, and agencies. I have direct clients, too. #AB5 prevents me from doing business with my colleagues unless they’re my employees and I’m their employee. We very similar to musicians in that regard.

Ryan Le Interpreting: “My name is Ryan, and I am a Vietnamese interpreter in Los Angeles, CA. I decided to pursuit a career in the language industry in 2015 to serve my community with language needs. Since then, I have been working as a freelance linguist to meet the language needs of thousands of Vietnamese speakers in CA and nationwide. As someone who only started working in this field a few years ago, AB 5 came as a surprising and shocking reality. It was intended to classify employees and give them the benefits and supports that they need, but it actually causes more damage and trouble for the majority of workers instead . For me and my colleagues, we are not misclassified. We choose to be independent contractors. We exercise our rights to decide when and how we perform our service, whom we provide the service to, and how much we charge. The law has caused many of our companies and agencies that we have contracted with to ask us to become their employees or incorporated while others just simple do not work with CA interpreters and contractors anymore. Being employed is not possible for many of us due to the nature of our work. We need the flexibility to take on assignments as opportunities arise. Moreover, we cannot be employees for many companies at the same time. Being incorporated puts the financial burden on the shoulders of the workers and not everyone is available and ready to become a corporation. Now, I will discuss what consequences that we might face if we do not repeal AB 5 or at least get exemption for the language profession (interpreter, translator, and linguist in general). Firstly, it will put the minorities and underserved populations at risk by reducing the number of available interpreters to assist them with their language needs. Moreover, the language industry represents over 2 billion US dollars in revenue. If we do not repeal or get exempted from AB 5, the great part of that revenue and subsequently state taxes will go to national and transnational companies, who are outside of CA because companies will stop contracting with CA linguists and look else where for their language needs. Again, there is a need to either repeal AB 5 through AB 1928 or get exemption for the language profession through SB 875. This is not only for translators and interpreters but also for many other professions which are devastated by AB 5.

Darsie Evans: “I’m in trucking and estimated 100,000 independent truckers are  affected,  The author, Gonzalaz, claims 1000 independent truckers have been shorted pay.  So, 1% gets relief at the expense of the other 99%.  Ca government at its best. #AB5 repeal today.

Linda Pescatore: “I tutor for an out of state company. They decided not to renew any contracts with California residents, even though the law seems to be okay with tutoring. I guess they just don’t want the risk, despite losing millions.

Julie Dawson-Parlee: “I started an educational services company last year, but this law is technically telling me that I can’t let them help students with their school homework, and I can’t be paid for all of the administrative overhead of connecting them to clients (so there’s no point being in business). I don’t know what to call them now, but I just fired all my tutors.”

Katie Wassenaar:  “I am a freelance Post Producer in television. I work in both scripted and un-scripted programming, in post production. The issues for myself and my colleagues are that rates have been stagnant or going down, as budgets and margins shrink. One of the ways we can keep decent rates is to be hired as a loan outs. The company can afford to pay us our decent rate, since we aren’t having a 20% fringe placed on top for payroll taxes. It also means that, as freelancers who have to have their own gear, we can write a portion of that gear off. If we go through payroll, we can’t. One of the other things is that, even if we are forced to have to go through payroll, that doesn’t mean we get regular employee benefits, like sick pay, vacation pay and healthcare. There is no upside to this for us. It is going to negatively affect my earning for the year. This is a terrible law and we need a carve out!

Mary Jordan: “As a sole-proprietor entertainer and face painter, I am now unable to perform for my client’s customers. I was used by other local small and large businesses for Grand Openings, Customer Appreciation Days, Resort/Camp entertainment, and drawing potential customers to their Tradeshows/Marketing Booths, Elementary/Preschool Educational Programs, Libraries’ Summer Reading Program Entertainment, Daycamp Entertainment, County Fair and Festival Entertainment, etc. I’ve lost 75% of my income so far this year and I’m being forced to move out-of-state to prevent my business from closing.”

George Manzanilla: “That seems to be the case. I’m a freelance video editor. I can work as an independent contractor for clients who aren’t production companies. Mainly it affects the way I subcontract. It also raises red flags amongst some clients who are uncertain of how it will be enforced and what documentation needs to be kept in case of an audit. There really is no guidance that I’ve seen on how to proceed.

Deirdre Hamilton: “It’s definitely a hot mess with no clear definitions at this point. My partner is a wedding videographer and is going through the same things. While he’s generally hired by the couple themselves, he sometimes hires editors, second shooters, etc on a per-project basis to help with his workload, and he has no idea now if he can go to his normal people (who are sole props) or if he needs them to become an LLC, etc.”

Ronn L. Kilby: “I do freelance video production – 15 years, sole proprietor – San Diego. I also hire other freelancers per diem to fill out my crew for larger jobs. 3/4 of my work last year was shooting interviews/B-roll for prod companies located in NYC, Chicago or S. Carolina – either here, in LA or Orange County. Gone. They would rather fly in a crew than deal with this mess. Have not worked a day since November. Plus my fave client – a prod co in SF – they’re now just driving down and shooting it themselves. I understand why (they’re in the same boat), but it’s killing me.

Myrna Perez:  “I own a small video production company in Los Angeles mostly working with non-profits. With AB5, I will need to raise my rates for budgets because I cannot afford to pay $20,000 in taxes to the government. The non profits I work with cannot afford to raise t heir budgets, it’s why they love working with me and I love working with them. With AB5 not only will I no longer have clients (since I’d need to raise my budgets), but I likely will have no reason to have a company without clients and will end up shutting it down. I also freelance as an editor as my day job, and I’ve been let go because my other client couldn’t afford payroll. This law is crushing us.”

San Diego News Video: “Every “Stringer’ in the entire country is an independent contractor, that is the nature of our business. Now, California will not allow stringers to shoot news footage, and that has a trickle down effect because we have no stringer footage to license, we lose, and the tv stations have no video for their news stories. If the contractors fail, then companies will fall right behind them. … Employment for stringers is not an option, not in the nature of the business.

Deirdre Hamilton: “My partner is a wedding videographer who, it now appears, will have issues hiring other videographers to be his 2nd shooters at events and “per/project” editors.

Zeke Torres: “I own a small business that does filming and Livestreaming for social events. In 2019 we did about 120 events. The people that work for me have other gigs and make a decent living having the freedom to work as independent contractors. I hire camera operators, photographers and assistants for all these events, and I also film for other people. With AB5, I can’t afford to hire employees and I’m also losing the extra income I used to get from other gigs. That’s my story.

Loraine Curtis Colbert: “I’ve been working as a VA, Sole Proprietor, for seven years and building my business. AB5 has just destroyed it. I am searching for any groups who are representing VAs in opposition to this law, but haven’t had any luck. Anyone have any leads/ideas?

Wendie Colter: “As a small business owner, I am forced to let go of my teacher’s aid/virtual assistant. I have no idea how I will be able to grow my business. I have no idea what she will do for the lost revenue.”

Lyn Wattjes Moffatt: “For 12 years I’ve worked as a virtual call center agent for such clients as: StubHub, Michaels, Hertz, Travelocity, etc. It provided me the much needed flexibility to work from multiple locations, including caring for my elderly parents in Florida when needed. The company I contracted thru will no longer do business with anyone in CA due to AB5. So not only do I no longer have an income, I no longer have the flexibility to schedule myself to take care of my parents.”

Elle Travis: “My voiceover opportunities have gone down by 90%  even though I’m a S Corp and member of SAG/AFTRA. Seemingly by Lorena Gonzalez’ account, I should be sound in my position, however I’m still part of the fallout because clients are leaving CA for talent elsewhere, they told me directly. That being said, I’m mostly affected through my S Corp. We are chasing our tail trying to figure out how our productions will move forward. The ABCs of this do not apply to the way we work and putting that model on my 20+ year old business (with no time to plan) is truly crazy, the opposite of business sense. To suddenly rule that 300+ industries, with completely different operating structures, must abide by the same structure is not a sound way to structure law. It’s unfortunate that small business creatives and the arts are being destroyed by the fallout of trying to regulate the driving industry.  Lorena Gonzalez most likely sees all performers having the ability to do work through SAG/AFTRA and believes any other performer work currently not contracted under the union needing to be in the future. Unfortunately SAG/AFTRA is a closed union and Lorena Gonzalez is heavily funded by unions, a true conflict.  It’s obvious that no true analysis of the law and its financial implications was performed. A travesty to the California economy we are surely going to feel the quake for generations if a more sound action isn’t implemented immediately to stop this devastation. The lack of prudence this legislation has shown is catastrophic to the very lives they have been sworn to serve.”

David Higbee: “I’m a freelance conference interpreter, translator (Japanese, Spanish and English), voiceover studio, musician and producer, and basically AB5 will negatively impact EVERY type of work I do.

Anonymous: “I am a voice over artist. You have all heard me on movies, radio, tv, you just don’t know it! I often work for big companies/studios… and those take you on as an employee… even if you only work for them one day that year! Or one week. Or one day here, and then again one day six months later…. so that work is probably pretty safe. But independently produced stuff is often contractor based. And it is a big portion of my work. Both sides would suffer… the smaller companies that can no longer use a contractor like me, and the contractors who lose the work… essentially those jobs would just probably disappear. I am already out taking labor jobs on the side, like I was doing at half my age (I am a “well into middle age year old” man! I can’t do this kind of labor stuff forever….), haven’t had to do that in 20 years… but I am now, because I’m so nervous about the work vanishing and my family going broke.”

Susan H. Media: “Videographers and voice over artists are usually independent contractors. We work with a variety of clients, set our own rates, and provide our own (very expensive) equipment. AB5 specifically targets videographers, saying they are not eligible for the 35 submission carve out. So, CA is making it illegal to shoot video as a freelance videojournalist. It’s also very common for videographers to hire other videographers for a large event or when a different, specialized skill is needed. And the pay is good, typically around $150 – $350 an hr, depending on the project. But with AB5, we’ll have to make them employees, even if it’s for 1 shoot that’s just 1 hr, each year. It’s ridiculous. As a voice over artist, it’s also terrible. We provide work to audio book companies, production studios, radio stations etc. Could be considered part of their core business. We’ve always had the choice to either work in a union or not. AB5 is trying to take away that choice, to help the unions, not us.”

Chris Dierl: “The AB5 problems at weddings are when the bride’s father issues the bandleader one check, the bandleader pays the musicians, and suddenly the musicians are all employees of the bandleader.

Michelle Garibay: “Wedding and event planners are lots of stay at home moms who work from home. They want to choose their workload and control their pay. I can’t give any client leads to the girls who want to work under me because they are ICs – and WANT to be. Also, I can’t hire extra hands on the event day for set up either. We are a seasonal industry and we don’t work every single weekend. Weddings are not sustainable in the employee model.

Dakota Sottosanto: “I don’t see how anyone in the wedding / Event Industry can commit a vendor 6-18 months in advance and call them an employee even if the contractor is in a similar line of work as the Business provider. The problem with this is it would double the Gross Income of the ICs. I normally pay about a 50% Split to the ICs. They can negotiate per event but that about normal. So if they now collect the total from the Client and pay me a 50% Referral Fee their Gross Incomes doubles. And then of course my Gross would decrease as well. About I only sub contract out like 25 % of our work, so my gross is less effected than their. We would both see the same net, so I guess that’s what matters. But it’s kinds awkward to sell a client your company and then say OK great no pay this other company. I would have to remodel our whole structure as would the ICs. If they are doubling their gross income they would maybe want to reevaluate what type of company they are and how they deal with taxes…

Sean Kenney Films: “We hire assistants to help move equipment, and film from different angles of the ceremony, or help film groomsmen when the other is with the bridesmaids, or vice versa. Nearly every videographer hires assistants to help them, and now they would need to be employees. Some assistants are only used 1-2 days out of the year depending on their availability. We are self employed, and run tiny businesses, and cannot afford to hire employees.”

Wendi Koble: “Where do I begin? This probably won’t be short. I’m a wedding videographer and I always hire help for the day of. I hire ICs who have their own legit businesses, have invested in their own gear, pay insurance on that gear, drive their own car to the gig, etc, etc. I pay them well…anywhere from $75/hr to $100/hr. If I make them an employee, they make less money and lose their write-offs. Also, because of how weddings work, I would not be able to give them breaks like most employees get. We’re lucky if we get 5 minutes to eat something. Also to run payroll, I have to pay a fee every month (around $30) even though I don’t have any work that month. Let’s say I get a last-minute wedding or decide that I need more help for the scale of the event…it takes time to onboard an employee so now they have to wait to get paid?! Long story short, I would have to raise my pricing and will not be able to compete with companies outside of the state. I’m also a freelancer and fill out my calendar helping my colleagues. Last year this was about $20k in extra money that is now GONE.”

Nicole Nadel Mixdorf: “I own a corporate wellness company with 25 contractors that work for me from time to time – yoga teachers, nutritionists, massage therapists, fitness instructors, meditation teachers, health & wellness speakers, etc. The majority of them only work ONE (1) hour per week for my business. It literally blows my mind that they are considered employees! Why on Earth do I need to pay for worker’s compensation for an expert speaker who teaches one lunch & learn for my clients per YEAR?! It’s insanity! On top of this, one of my dance instructors that I was working with has no interest in being an employee (he owns his own entertainment company), and has declined staying on as an employee. This has forced me to cancel the weekly class I have for my client, causing me to lose that annual revenue. There really needs to be a minimum number of hours worked in order to be considered an employee. I fully understand that people working full time hours should be getting benefits, overtime, etc., but someone that works 5 hours or less per week that provides the same services to multiple businesses is in no way an employee. Many of the freelancers that work for me have told me that they have lost other jobs as those companies decided to consolidate the number of people working for them instead of spreading work around to a larger group of people. This law is very harshly affecting small businesses and freelancers. I hope our stories get shared.”

Mike MacGillivray: “I am an insurance broker and my firm writes a lot of workers compensation insurance in a variety of different industries. This is a law that has the potential to create devastating, costly consequences for California business owners, not only for businesses that may need to purchase and absorb the cost of new workers compensation insurance after July 1st, 2020 (which they may not be able to afford), but for current workers compensation policyholders. We are already working with clients to help prepare them for the negative ramifications of AB5. Besides the obvious costs businesses will need to absorb for work comp policies they were not previously required to have, many current policy holders may have to cancel their current workers compensation policies and absorb the cost of a short rate penalty so they can re-shop their policies (and those new policy premiums will be much higher). On the workers compensation side, businesses enjoy the ability to 1099 tougher employee classes with larger exposure, so they don’t have to shoulder the costs of that increased exposure in their work comp premiums. Due to AB5, they may now have to include these tougher employee classes in work comp policies that are not designed to accommodate them. In these situations, businesses will be forced to cancel their work comp policies, pay a short rate penalty for early cancellation, and re-shop those policies with insurance companies that will accommodate riskier classes. This, of course, drives the insurance premium up for the business. The riskier the operations, the more exposure, the higher the premium. I can cite a recent example working with a client just yesterday: We have a client that works on sewers. His workers compensation policy stipulates that his employees are covered for any work they do up to 8 feet underground. If our client needs any work done past 8 feet, it is subcontracted out to an independent contractor who does the work 8 feet or deeper underground. Due to AB5, our client may now have to convert this independent contractor to an employee, but our client’s current workers compensation policy will not provide coverage for any employees that work farther than 8 feet down. Why? The risk exposure is completely different working deeper than 8 feet down. Our client will likely now need to cancel his workers compensation policy, absorb a costly short rate penalty for the cancellation, then we will have to re-shop his workers compensation to find a company that will write higher exposure, and that means a large premium increase, along with the cost of the penalty. With the combination of businesses that now will need workers compensation policies (provided they can shoulder the cost), and the degree to which current policy holders are going to need to re-shop their policies (because they may be adding new employee classes their policies do not accommodate), we are also going to see an absolutely flooded insurance market soon, and insurance companies are desperately trying to prepare. They will need to hire more underwriters, claims adjusters, administrative staff, will need to develop updated claims management and premium audit processes, all of which will cost money. As a result, rates will likely go up, and it will be the businesses paying for it. We are trying to work with clients to get ahead of the flooded market and the additional problems that will cause. The timing here couldn’t be worse. The insurance environment is already difficult enough in California. We’ve seen the implications of the 2017-2019 California wildfires on homeowners insurance premiums, and the many, frequent cancellations of homeowners policies. We’ve seen businesses crippled with much higher workers compensation premiums as a result of the California Workers’ Compensation Uniform Statistical Reporting Plan, effective Jan. 1st of 2017, which has required all first aid and small medical claims be reported to their insurance companies. This has caused an increase in their claims frequency, increases in their experience mods, much higher premiums, and more difficulty and frustration finding insurance companies that will write their work comp policies. The last thing California businesses need in this hard California insurance market is AB5. I applaud the group and its dedication to creating awareness, which is certainly working. I am encouraged by the many efforts already in motion to repeal the law. Please keep informing, educating, and spreading awareness!

Dina Robinson: “Two companies I write for said it’s so confusing that one is dropping all CA writers and editors entirely, and the other is requiring all ICs start businesses, LLC, etc.

Cecily Whiteside Martino: “I am a writer editor for website copy. I own Sora Creative Content Most of my clients are in tech, service or retail so I pass the B of the test with them. The trouble is anyone I hire to help me will be doing my business-writing, editing, content review, etc so they fail the B. Kinda sucks.”

Teagan Carlson: “I’m a freelance education writer, and, like Cicily above, the marketing work I do passes the B test. What I’m experiencing, however, is that many businesses still fear AB5. Their uncertainty is causing them to avoid hiring writers located in CA altogether. I also write instructional content for elearning producers. In this capacity (which is the majority of my earnings) I don’t pass the B test. I may need to move out of state or commute over an hour a day into the city for a new job.”

Charlotte Kosa: “This is based on my experience working in the print journalism industry for more than 24 years. My note : I retired from my journalism career to take care of both my elderly parents. I retired just after the first great newspaper layoffs happened. For 11 years, I have been freelancing. Not a lot but just enough to have spending money. My mother passed away in May and I am now 54 years old. I have heart and back issues which prevent me from holding a full time job and prevent me physically from covering certain types of stories.Working from home and being able to pick and choose my assignments, has been a GodSend. All I know how to do is write and utilize my photography skills. With the newspaper industry still rocking from low ad sales, how do you expect the papers to hire us as employees? That’s insane! In my case, I had been the editor of an online publication and the city editor of a daily paper. I am also a photojournalist and a general assignment reporter. This is all I know. I have done it for more than 24 years. Newspapers at the local level can no longer afford to hire a lot of employees. The ad revenue just isn’t there. And then now you have the Internet to contend with too. What’s going to happen to me? I’ve been told by several out of state companies that they will not do business with any freelancers from California. And now, the law is going to cut how many stories I can write or take photos for? There are only so many publications in my area. What you have created is what happened when all the layoffs at newspapers happened. Now you will have a ton of journalists out of work and scrambling for what few gigs are left out there.”

Nicolas Zart: “I’m 54 and the emails I got were, incorporate or 35 articles only. It’s not a choice. It’s a career disaster.

Rebecca Walker Donaldson: “I’m a freelance writer who got my work through agencies outside of California. They have cut all California writers loose. They are too afraid to risk the ramifications. My income from writing, which I depended on to support myself, has gone. It is not a rumor and not something that is being interpreted “too literally.” It is a fact that this law has decimated and destroyed what many of us had spent years to build. I am devastated. Absolutely devastated!

Kristen Fogle: “Our non profit has 50-75 ICs that are authors/writing professionals that teach writing classes on the side. If we don’t get an exemption, I’m going to have to make some of those employees and not offer work to the instructors that only teach writing classes every so often. Or require everyone to be S-Corps. Still not sure. It’s awful because writers/authors don’t make a ton of income to begin with. Teaching with us gives flexibility and additional income.”

Elissa Lieberman Krasenbaum: “Here’s my story: I own a small Fine Art School. I’m the only teacher and demand is beyond what I can accommodate. I have had various visiting artists to teach but I really need teachers and can’t have them as employees. Art schools have always had teachers on contract. It makes no sense to become an employer. I barely make enough for me to survive on!

David R. Berg: “I work part-time on an ad-hoc basis for a few different vessels who need a captain occasionally, or who need someone to fill in for the regular captain when that person isn’t available. None of my clients knows what to do with this new legislation.”

Agapé Maghoney: “I own a yoga studio and lost all of my subs and a couple of regularly scheduled teachers. In order for me to keep an active contract with the subs, I would have to pay my payroll company a fee per person and pay my workers comp to cover every single one of them even if they are not coming in to sub. This is a huge expense for my business. In addition to this, where teachers were coming in to teach in one class are now here having to stay 2 hours as 2 hours is the minimum shift in California that I pay for. So in essence, instead of making $20 per class, they would make less than minimum wage in order for me to stay within my budget on their pay alone. In addition, it makes things more complicated as they used to receive compensation per head and now it would need to be considered a commission which is a higher tax from what I understand. Such a mess.”

Mary Beth Ray: “I’m a yoga teacher and this law screws me out of deductions for required   continuing eduction training, which my new “employers,” the studios in which I work, can’t afford to pay for. And if I’m not taking continuing eduction training then those who are doing the training are losing money…it trickles down. Raising drop-in prices by $2 doesn’t solve the huge burden on yoga studios and teachers by a long shot.”

Nancy Kuo: “This law also affects the youth orchestras and ensembles. In my field (music education), many youth orchestras hire independent contractors to coach sectionals. In any given orchestra they might have up to 50 music coaches. Many youth orchestras are delaying their seasons as a result of this new reclassification. I can only hope that it does not cause youth programs to cease altogether due to insufficient funding.”

Chris James: “Carlsbad has two soccer clubs. One is switching to W2 for the coaches but coaches won’t be able to deduct all their gear anymore. The other soccer club is closing its doors. Many other clubs are closing down. All the youth sports clubs are mostly non-profit and barely make enough to support the programs. Not sure how they’ll survive without spiking prices for parents who may not enter their kids into sports because it’s too expensive!  I’m a volunteer (unpaid) soccer coach. I’ve spent thousands of dollars for soccer because I want to create a passion for the sport. For me it’s not about the money, but it’s the clubs shutting down because they can’t afford to make other coaches, refs, or other independent contractors employees.”

May Tuan Tucker: “Please convince me how it will benefit the schools and me when they only need me for their four performances a year of their high school musical. I play the keyboards. I have been doing this for over 30 years. These schools hire me because their staff can’t play the keyboards.”

Paul Russell: “I started CYT (Christian Youth Theater) 40 years ago in San Diego, California. It has grown to be the largest children’s theater organization in the nation with over 25,000 children taking classes and producing full length musicals throughout the year. AB5 will destroy our non-profit organization because it demands that we “hire as an employees” a guest director, a one time choreographer, a set designer, a sound engineer, a music director, a conductor, an accompanist…

Mysty Luis Stewart: “I work with a non profit youth theatre that provides low cost theatre education. Ironically our local paper just did a story last week about how the arts in our local schools have all but disappeared. Now those non profits filling that gap are at risk of folding or having ro scale way back because they cannot afford the overhead of W2 which AB5 imposes. In the case of our theatre, pretty much all of us have full time jobs – teaching is our labor of love of the arts – so none of us need to be employees for 6 hours of work a week for 18 weeks spread out over a year. This bill is killing the arts in CA and that is unacceptable.”

Cat Kenison Erickson: “I am a Freelance Costume Designer in the Inland Empire and work with local community theaters. On average, I design 4-5 shows per year. While not my primary job, it does make up 10% of my annual income and was vital in maintaining my family when my husband was laid off in 2013. I am required to fill out a W-9 for each theater company and pay my taxes accordingly. AB5 has already cost me one job opportunity and may cost me the rest. Much of the work I do is for Children’s Theater and typically I work with 50-80 children on each show. Many of these children are involved in theater for the first time and these experiences enrich their lives for a lifetime. Art is vital to a vibrant community and so is my part in creating that art. I have my MFA in Design from USC and am trained to be a professional Theatrical Designer. I choose to work in community theater and share my training and talents with these kids. If these Theater Companies are forced to close because of AB5, the access to the Arts for these children is in jeopardy. More than my paycheck is at stake here. AB5 would reduce the opportunities for communities in the Inland Empire to experience live theatre. My work as a Freelance Designer does not pass the “ABC test”, While I negotiate my fee and can negotiate my time as well, as a trained professional, I know what is needed and expected of me as a designer and there are dates and times I must attend. I am heartsick over the possible loss of these opportunities, not just for me but the very real possibility that a mall, community based theater companies, dance companies, and music groups may be forced to shut down. Many young designers cut their teeth in community theater and summer programs before going on to become professional theatrical Designers. Limiting their opportunities to hone and improve their craft ultimately harms the industry at large. AB5 is like cutting off your hand because you have a bad paper cut; it does more harm than good.”

Karen Anderson: “Karen Anderson has been an independent contractor since the mid -90s. She started her own freelance business after working in the marketing department of a super-regional shopping center in Orange County, and was encouraged by the marketing director who believed in her abilities as a writer and creative individual…

With an elderly mom in her 90s, Anderson planned on having the flexibility to care for her mom once full-time care was needed. But AB5 threatens that, as it does for thousands of independent contractors who need flexibility so they can earn their livings at home while also caring for family members who rely on them.

David Higbee: “David Higbee has been working as a freelancer for 20 years. Fluent in both Spanish and Japanese, he is a certified court interpreter but also works in a variety of related fields. He has worked as a media interpreter, an interpreter at film festivals, a subtitle translator, a voice-over talent, and as a technical translator. Higbee says he sees himself as a small business or a store: he has main services that make the best money as well as side projects that fill his time…

Already, Higbee has lost income due to AB5. While speaking of projects where different skillsets are needed, he says: “If I can’t subcontract that part of the project to somebody else, I can’t quote on the project. I couldn’t quote on a multi-million dollar contract because of AB5.””

Katerina Borghi: “Katerina Borghi has a love of language. The Californian native first discovered it in elementary school when she began learning to speak Spanish. That love turned into a passion and then a career. 

Borghi was working hard to make her dream of owning a business a reality when California passed Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), also known as the “gig worker law” and her plans came to a screeching halt. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic complicated her situation even more. 

“It’s like a sucker punch,” she said. “You’ve already been beaten up [by AB5] and COVID is like the sucker punch on top.”

Tony Valle:Tony Valle embodies the American dream. The first-generation American was born in Los Angeles to an immigrant single-mother with limited prospects for success, but with a desire to reinvent herself. For the first seven years of his life, Valle was raised by social workers in the Los Angeles Barrio of Pacoima.

“I was a welfare child,” Valle said in an interview with IWF. “However, I had the good fortune of living from the ages of seven to 18 in a very affluent area of San Diego. What that meant for me was that there were opportunities around me to work and earn money.”

Valle went back to school to become a certified interpreter. He now serves as a freelance interpreter in the California court system. 

But California’s Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) takes away that ability and so much more. It puts Valle and the thousands of other freelance interpreters in a precarious situation: finding full-time work in a labor market that has few vacancies and losing control of their schedules.

Jennifer O’Connell: “Jennifer O’Connell is a jack of all trades. The California-based 54-year-old is a writer, yoga instructor, and career-reinvention coach. O’Connell spent her formative years in Chicago, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in fiction writing and commercial art.

In between writing for outlets like The Washington Times and teaching yoga classes, in 2016, she received her advanced yoga certification. She began certifying yoga studios globally online. 

But her world turned upside down when California passed Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), commonly referred to as the “gig worker bill”. 

O’Connell describes it as “a horribly written law”.

Suddenly, O’Connell’s 1099 work was slashed. That used to make up about three quarters of her income. 

“Take my yoga work, I do lectures on anatomy or I help with a portion of training. A mom-and-pop studio can’t hire me and put me on payroll for a one or two hour lecture that I do once per month. That’s wiped out so much work. A lot of studios have shut their doors because of AB5 and COVID-19.”

Steve Baltin: “I am a Democrat and proud Biden supporter in California but as a freelance journalist I can tell you this law is an overreaching disaster. It is intrusive and not thought out at all. AB5 needs to be overturned immediately!

Gloria M. Rivera: “I’m a registered Dem in CA that can no longer work as a freelancer cause of #ab5. I would reconsider your imposing unions on everyone. Not all the middle class is a trade that needs a union. Thank you.”

Dakota Sottosanto: “Well @JoeBiden as a CA registered Democrat you just lost any chance of my vote. AB5 is probably one of the worst bills in California History. #repealab5 you can’t take away people freedom to choose how and when they work. I’ll plug my nose and vote Trump if you support AB5.

Klynn W.: “Wow. Does my party have a hard time read a room! I have voted Dem my whole life but Skipping presidential elections this year. Single mom devastated by #AB5. All the ppl you are wanting to “help” are begging for their livelihoods after #AB5…

I’m an independent contractor in California, and I haven’t heard one person who has said this bill has helped them. That’s probably why there’s so many exemptions, and to clean up bills that have been written to help with this crap bill.”

Braden Drake: “I’m a Democrat and small business attorney in California. AB5 is wrecking our state, devastating small businesses, and switching off many individuals’ ability to earn an income. It needs to be repealed.”

Michella Patane: “I am a freelance sign language interpreter, not a “gig worker” AB5 is destroying jobs like mine and many others who are Independent Contractors. #RepealAB5 Educate yourself @JoeBiden first before tweeting messages like you did.”

Jan from California: “I am 71 and looking after my 93 year old mother. I depend on @Lyft to get groceries and meds and take dog to vet. Lyft was a lifesaver…[I’ll] be forced to take taxi to get food and meds and to get to the doctor. Just the basics.”

From Andi HK: “I just got off the phone with a client. Mentioned that Uber/Lyft will leave CA at midnight. She is freaking out. Her special needs friend who lives off SDI relies on rideshare for independence. Her friend will lose the ability to be mobile and care for himself.

And, her husband is picking up work as an IC because the shut downs killed his commission. His company wanted to demote him to minimum wage. They have 3 children. He had to take a leave to facilitate distance learning. Doordash is the only thing keeping them fed.”

Michel Fadlallah: “Just cost me my job as an Uber driver. I am 66 on SS. Now I have to move to another state to make ends meet. Been here since 1975. Thanks Lorena.”

Tweet by Faces of AB5: “I’m a nurse practitioner. Many small private doctors offices are closing, increasing the gap in healthcare due to AB5. Many small private owned offices are open due to contracted staff. Furthermore, this law took away our ability to negotiate wages.”

Jennifer Oliver O’Connell: “As a minority woman, #AB5 has already ruined my employment opportunities. It’s time you stop the nonsense and work for the people who elected you…

Stacey Biro: “I have cervical spinal cord damage. My husband has MS and is now wheelchair-bound. My small writing gig was helping us to pay a portion of uncovered medical expenses. We are screwed because of AB5. If I am part of the anti-AB5 movement, I am proud.”

Klynn W.: “Single mom, spent 9 years building a small tech business. Had to release 21 CA IC because a business we contract with won’t work with them. All but one were single moms. All make $40+/hr.”

Vanessa McGrady: “Not a bot. Single mom in Glendale who has taken years to build my successful business. There is not one fiber of my being that wants to sit in a grey-carpeted cubicle again, thanks for the “protection” though. Repeal #AB5.”

Jeff, tweeted by Kevin Kiley: “I’m dyslexic & I am a middle-class, ind. software developer writing code for a living. #AB5 is an ABSOLUTE DISASTER for ind. IT pros in my industry. Just lost a client & business relationships I spent many years cultivating that I depend on to feed my family.”

Elizabeth Tobias: “Assemblymember Lorena Gonzales office just HUNG UP ON ME! They didn’t want to hear about the teaching gig I lost today or how AB5 has devastated my income as a mom and gig artist of 30 years.”

Lili VonSchtupp: “I am disabled and able to work as a sole proprietor. #AB5 will make me homeless. Everyone is not an employee.

AE Sanchez: “I am 65. 22 years of being a Certified Interpreter. Partially taking care of my 92 year old mother. Neither one has ever taken anything from this country, on the contrary. You come with a flick of a pen and destroyed my livelihood, the time that I should be helping my mother.

Andi Loveall: “Just lost my ability to earn a living because of California Assembly Bill No. 5. My freelance brokerage company says they have to let California authors go.Almost a decade of hard work gone in an instant. I can’t stop crying.

Right before Xmas.”

Gail Gordon: “I am the Founder/Executive director of an Opera Company who produces operas by Jewish composers suppressed by the Nazis. I now must close my doors because of AB5. How is this Equal Protection. How is this acceptable in America? You lost my vote [Joe Biden]!

Eddie Arshaid: “#AB5 As an independent fee appraisers I contract with many lenders and appraisal management companies. Now I have been cut off completely destroying a company I built over 17 years.”

Renee Silverman: “#AB5 the only thing on my mind since Sept. I’ve lost sleep, panic/anxiety, spent $$ on legal + acct’g trying to keep my biz alive. I was proud of creating my own livelihood, now I’m just scared + angry.

Willow Polson: “Because of #AB5 I may have to cancel the biggest project of my career to date, which I had fully intended to make SAG-AFTRA + IC’s and a non-union crew. Now all those people & services may make $0. Good job on creating more poverty, @LorenaSGonzalez.”

Dave Johnson: “Thanks to you, @GavinNewsom and @LorenaAD80, I live in constant fear of paying my rent because #AB5works by erasing the income of previously self-sufficient, successful professionals. You have destroyed the lives of thousands of people.

Robin, tweeted by Kevin Kiley: “#AB5stories, Robin: “Working as a freelance recipe developer has allowed me to be at home to take care of my young son. I’ve happily worked for myself and built a successful business. Because of #AB5, I’ve already lost one lucrative contract this year & fear others will follow.””

Myrna, tweeted by Kevin Kiley: “#AB5stories, Myrna: “I work with a company doing remote dental billing to supplement my Social Security. I am 66 and I really loved staying home & doing my job in the field that I’m good at. Due to #AB5, I’ve lost my job & income that was helping me stay in my home & on my feet.”

Zeke Torres: “I am a small business owner and I USED to hire other independent contractors as well as working for others as independent contractors. No one is going to pay me 6 figures for what I do with the freedom I have. #AB5 Killed it for me and for the people I can’t hire anymore.”

Donna Butler: “I am a band leader/musician. The unions do not represent me nor to they get me jobs. We have all taken a 20% pay cut and I now make less than minimum wage because of all the hours dealing with the HR. #AB5 has killed my dreams. #disruptinequality.

Christine, tweeted by Kevin Kiley: “#AB5stories, Christine: “I am a freelance editor, and my two major clients dropped me because of #AB5. So now I have no income at the moment. I am also an adjunct teacher, but it pays low and also quarterly. I do not have income now for food and rent.”

Logan, tweeted by Kevin Kiley: “#AB5stories, Logan: “I spent 10 years building a small business in music production, sound design & audio engineering. As of Jan 1, 95% of my jobs disappeared overnight. I don’t know how I’ll support my 3-year-old son & 6-month-old daughter. #AB5 is destroying the American Dream.”

Valerie, tweeted by Kevin Kiley: “#AB5stories, Valerie: “Gov. Newsom wants CA to be a ‘No Kill’ animal shelter state – something I’ve worked on for 10 years. I’m now banned from consulting to make this possible for my clients. #AB5 upended my retirement & is destroying my life & freedom to do the work I love.”

Adam Lasher: “#AB5 has forced me to stop hiring other musicians and just play solo more. I am drastically reducing my use of other musicians because the new laws no longer make it profitable. We don’t want to be apart of any union leave us alone!!!! Many times I am giving a good budget to perform an event Solo. I choose to have another musician sit in. The event likes it, I help a musician out, makes my performance more fun, I am more likely to get rebooked. The new law discourages that [because] I’d have to make them an employee.

Jeff: “So much anxiety rn… Lost a major client I depend on to pay rent b/c of #AB5. Seems #AB5Works only for those who get arbitrary exemptions. Why? Bc I don’t have a powerful $ lobby to fight for me. I’m just a middle class guy trying to feed his family…

Traci: “@JoeBiden and @SenSanders need to stop emailing me for $. #AB5 has taken away my ability to support myself and kids. #notfreetofreelance.”

Rosanne Limeres: “@LorenaAD80 How about an exemption for transcribers? I work from home. The work ebbs and flows. Being a salaried employee would do me no good. You’ve destroyed my livelihood. Now I’m terrified of losing my singing career, too. The stress is killing me. #RepealAB5.”

Jon Fleischman: “Apparently one of my daughters dance competitions has been canceled thanks to the new AB 5 law. Awesome.

Andy, tweeted by Kevin Kiley: “#AB5stories, Andy: “I’m an IT professional & musician. #AB5 destroys my income from both sources. Sacramento is forcing me to make very tough decisions. My wife and I are hoping & praying it will be repealed. We’ve given this until March 31 or we are sadly leaving California.”

Jared, tweeted by Kevin Kiley: “#AB5stories, Jared: “#AB5 forced me to shut down my business. I went from making $80,000/year in home services to a minimum wage employee. My family trade is gone. I’ve gone from working 4 days/week to spend time with my kids to not knowing if I can make ends meet working 7 days”

Leah Cevoli: “#AB5 Got my first “we can’t hire you anymore” cause you live in CA email. I have done freelance work for over 10 yrs w/this co. One of the gigs that keeps me afloat is tradeshow modeling /product demonstrator/brand ambassador work – I rely on this to pay my rent @LorenaSGonzalez”

Text in screenshot of email: “Hello California Residents, I am sure you have heard of your new law AB-5. Basically, we will no longer be able to contract individual California residents without great difficulty. That said, we are still able to contract companies. Therefore, if you would like to be considered for any bookings with us, you will need to incorporate.”

Connie, tweeted by Kevin Kiley: “#AB5stories, Connie: “Problems standing/walking limit my ability to find employment. I choose to work as an IC because it suits my life best. Now my online teaching company stopped working with CA teachers. #AB5 is taking away my choices & livelihood & I might lose everything.”

Joy, tweeted by Kevin Kiley: “#AB5stories, Joy: “I’ve worked as a Speech Language Pathologist for 12 years. I’m a single mom & last May was finally able to buy a house in LA. Now I can’t pay my mortgage after #AB5 forced me to take a drastic pay cut. Was up all night, so scared, writing this. Please help us.”

Eliza James: “Another #AB5 casualty. Now the kids are gonna suffer because of it. Thanks so much @LorenaSGonzalez @GavinNewsom.”

Text in screenshot of email:

“Solo Ensemble Festival March 9th Cancellation


Due to California Assembly Bill AB 5, we are no longer able to contract with individuals that do not work for our school district. We appreciate your willingness to help our students. We will keep you posted with any new legislation that will alow us to hire you in the future.

Breezy Salazar: “Yesterday I quit a career I spent a decade building, thanks in large part to #AB5. As a freelance writer/military wife/mom I was able to support my fam, but due to AB5’s restrictions, won’t be able to continue in ’20. @LorenaSGonzalez you win! We’re back on the poverty line.”

Mary Harrison: “AB5 resulted in the closure of outpatient clinics and healthcare centers in the Coachella Valley and surrounding areas. The most prominent closure in the area has been the Health to Hope Clinics, which offered free and low-cost health services to the homeless.”

Frank Cowan: “Sending back my second camera body. Not going to be able to pay for it now, due to the evil AB5 and the lack of a speedy resolution in the courts and in the ‘progressive’ assembly. About to give up on my dream.

Clarissa Laguardia: “My small business has lost 80-90% of sales since #Coronavirus compounded with the anxiety stemming from #AB5… its been extra rough to say the least.”

Alex Monsalve: “I am a healthcare worker, and this has affected my ability to help during this crisis. They had contracted me to cover for older therapists who were out sick. Now those therapists (ages 65+) are staying home and they are not contracting me for work to cover. Lose lose situation.”

Susan Valot: “Thanks @LorenaSGonzalez for ruining my freelance business. My main client is going to a W-2 temporary employee format instead of 1099. That means I now have to outlay hundreds of dollars each year to pay for radio gear, computer, editing program, etc… And bc of #AB5, I have no way to write it off as a business expense. And the client is not going to pay for that gear to use. So what am I supposed to do now?? I also lose my ability to write off my healthcare expenses. Clients are not providing that. You’re running me out of business in California, amid an epidemic. Thanks a lot. I now can’t run a business like a business and have no way to survive in this state. This also means I am paying into a disability and unemployment system that because I have other freelance income, I can never apply for. So this money is being stolen from my paycheck. This is just wrong.”

Sheila Blige: “Since I’m in the age demographic forced to self isolate I have nothing but time available that could be spent earning whatever I can transcribing for medical and legal industries. Tying our hands like this is senseless at a time when home workers are urgently needed! #RepealAB5

Seth Fischer: “Sad to announce that due to AB5, @writingworkshopsla is shutting its doors. If you’d like to work with me or other amazing faculty, feel free to reach out to us through here! Thanks to @EdanL and @escapegrace for everything you’ve done!

Will Kennedy: “Another musician friend lost 9 jobs today because of California’s #AB5 law. @LorenaAD80 @GavinNewsom we NEED AN ANNOUNCEMENT THAT A SOLUTION IS COMING, or you face California losing its standing as a leader in the world of music. Shameful.

Christine: “Thanks a lot #AB5!  Just lost out on a possible at home independent contractor position to supplement my income in overpriced California.”

“Living Dead Drummer”: “As the drummer being hired #AB5 is going to CRUSH my lively hood and could end the careers of many talented musicians.”

Kirsten Mortensen: “#AB5stories ***Just lost client thanks to this AWFUL law *** Last year, started getting work from a promising new accnt. Was in convo about new work in 2020. Now bec I am Cali res my talent, skills, & experience as a freelance writer go poof.”

David Higbee: “I support a family of 7, and #AB5 completely blocks my ability to work in every industry I’ve freelanced in: music, film, manufacturing, legal, IT/tech, everything. Please help us amend it or pass legislation that guarantees the #freedomtofreelance #fixAB5 #AB5stories

Beth Demmon: “Fuck #AB5. I’m so upset. I’m sitting here crying bc everything I’ve worked for, the career I’ve created and based my entire life on, is crumbling around me and there’s literally nothing I can do about it. In past years, I’d done the whole “pitch a ton of media publications” approach and found it’s just not an efficient method for a working mom. I’ve specifically been cultivating relationships with a smaller number of pubs to maximize my output and thus, income. Now I have to go back to that inefficient time suck approach to have any hope of maintaining autonomy as a sole proprietor and avoid playing for additional childcare by shifting to W2 status somewhere. Creating an LLC isn’t a smart financial move as it costs hundreds of $ and removes my ability to write off expenses, which are around 20-25% of my total income. Not only am I not financially able to afford full-time childcare, I don’t even want it! My son is on the autism spectrum and is about to start 15 hours/week of therapy. Add that to the PT preschool he attends and I WANT to spend time with him doing unstructured activities. Frankly, I don’t want the “help” that #AB5 is shoving down my throat, strangling me in the process. Give me some support for my alternative needs child instead and maybe affordable healthcare for self-employed workers. In the meantime, throw AB5 in the toilet where it belongs & let me hustle in peace so I can continue providing for my family & spending time with my son instead of sticking him in unaffordable daycare so I can work some shit job that pays less than what I’ve negotiated for myself. I literally pursued going freelance specifically bc I knew once I had a kid it would be the best option to raise him myself and still make money to support the household without relying on randos to raise him for me.

Merrill Barr: “Just got the official word. Looks like, because of #AB5, I will no longer be writing for Forbes by May (they’re complying with t/35 cap and I do 7 posts a month for them). That’s major income gone that needs to be replaced. Remember below? Well, we’re in crunch time folks. I already knew I can’t cover rent beyond this month. Now I won’t be able to cover debts after May. So… anyone with work, now’s the time… And, FWIW, Forbes isn’t firing anyone. This isn’t on them. This is on the bullshit law they are complying with. But I need work.

Jennifer Van Laar: “Here’s what really sucks about #AB5 on a personal level. I moved home to CA in 2012 after my marriage ended (in which I was supporting spouse so no alimony/child support) w/only what fit in the back of my Ford Flex to help my dad post-stroke. I rented a room from my godmother. When I could buy my own furniture 9 mo later it was a huge deal. I started an entirely new career at 40 b/c the method of court reporting I practiced for 20 yrs in NC wasn’t allowed in CA (ironic!). After 8 yrs of working 15 hr days (no joke-ask my kids and friends..and bf lol) I finally was where I wanted to be. A comfortable home of my own, furnished (mostly) the way I wanted. Contracts providing FAR more than min wage. A flexible sched so I could be available to help my children or mom. A stable routine. And, FINALLY, a stable paycheck. Then in late Dec the rug was again pulled out from under me. Overnight I couldn’t have access to those contracts- but writers in 49 other states could. All b/c @LorenaSGonzalez decided to put some lame 35 piece limit on writers and a subjective 10-part “if you’re a REAL business” test on me. So my best option is to move to another state and come back as often as possible and have my 16 yr old HS student child stay with his 25 yr old brother when I’m gone. My son has a language disability but is in a magnet performing arts school so I can’t move him in middle of 11th. @LorenaSGonzalez have you thought abt the family separation your law is causing? The harm it’s causing ppl w/disabilities? I can’t have and don’t want a W-2 job for min wage. I’m way overqualified for that and need to be w/my son. Hey maybe YOU can be in his IEP mtgs? I’m fuming.”

Alesandra Dubin: “@LorenaSGonzalez Mom of twins and freelance writer here. It pains me to report I’ve lost a huge chunk of income this week due to #AB5, from multiple clients. And it’s only Tuesday. PLEASE make this STOP urgently! Cc @Asm_Nazarian @GavinNewsom.”

Scott Meslow: “So: I just lost my first gig to AB5. If you’ll indulge a thread, I want to give some firsthand perspective on why this law is so misguided and so incredibly destructive to people in my position. First: I am very specifically NOT looking for full-time work right now. I’m writing a book, and I don’t have the time or bandwidth for a full-time job on top of it. It was a very conscious and active choice to turn those opportunities down as I looked ahead to 2020. What I want and need—and what, unless AB5 gets in the way, I will have—is steady freelance work to maintain both a public profile and a source of income on top of my book advance. One of those gigs is now gone. I hope the others don’t follow. The solution, from my perspective? I could move. But my work requires proximity to the entertainment industry, and my wife’s job is here. Either way, I’m pretty sure the goal of AB5 isn’t to make people leave California. So instead, I’ll just work around AB5 by writing fewer stories for a greater variety of publications. That’s more taxing on my end—and counter to the actual goal of AB5—but I don’t see a better solution until this idiotic thing finally gets overturned. But even in the best-case scenario: I’m going to lose money I was counting on, and for absolutely no reason. That gig, and others like it, will just go to writers in other states. Even if this gets rewritten or overturned, those opportunities will be gone. Finally, and most importantly: Even though this sucks for me, I’m in a rarified position. I have enough contacts, and enough of a platform, that I can find other sources of income. For writers who are just starting out, it won’t be so easy. In the end, what you have is a law that hurts everybody it’s supposed to help, and that disproportionately hurts people who need help the most: Those who use freelancing to break into a difficult industry. That list includes all the people we need in journalism most: People without connections or deep pockets, who rely on entry-level freelancing to pay the rent and make the connections that will let them break into the jobs they actually deserve. I don’t blame any editors who are nervous about working with writers in California right now. That said: Please keep working with us—because everything else just got that much harder for us. And in the meantime: If there are any opportunities that me or other stressed-out, California-based writers should know about, send them my way and I’ll RT. Since this is still making the rounds, one thing I want to clarify: I’m a progressive, and I think the stated goal of AB5 is a good one. Employers shouldn’t be able to indefinitely string along employees who are doing full-time work by misclassifying them. The problem is that the law as written—and certainly as it applies to freelance journalism—is that it lumps in gigs that are not (and should not) be classified as full-time. There’s so much variance in the nature of a “gig” in the gig economy, and AB5 doesn’t account for that. Certainly anyone who actually works in journalism could have told you that setting a strict limit of 35 “submissions” per publication—regardless of whether each individual submission is a 5,000-word reported profile or a 200-word news hit—makes absolutely no sense. It’s a sledgehammer where a chisel was needed. And it’s very frustrating that the many, many people who raised these exact concerns in the months before AB5 actually went into effect were dismissed.”

Jackie Bryant: “No worker can be held liable…who cares about that when we won’t even be workers anymore? I just lost three clients that make up a nice chunk of my income due to their concern over #AB5. I am dreading next year and my income is already suffering.”

Zack Ruskin: “Sadly, I can now confirm that due to #AB5, I will no longer be able to continue “Chem Tales” for @SFWeekly on a weekly basis in 2020. I’ve written it every week for over three years. The paper is losing quality content and I’m losing my anchor gig. #AltWeekliesForever.

Toni Towe: “Dear @LorenaSGonzalez , My biggest client just informed me that they are now limiting how much I can work for them to make sure we aren’t considered employees even though we vetted and met B2B exception. Thanks a million! Btw… they are exempt from it. #RepealAB5 #AB5stories.

Selene: “Thanks to @lorenaAD80 & #AB5, the income that enabled me to pay bills & eat was wiped out practically overnight. But I’ve been given the opportunity to APPLY for a few part-time jobs. Operative words: Apply & Part-time. Neutral face #AB5stories #20YearsFreelancingDownTheDrain.”

Ashley Morgan: “Just trying to pay rent and make a living in California and now I have to pay hundreds of dollars on a lawyer to figure out how I can keep singing/gigging under #AB5 Thanks for this nightmare @LorenaSGonzalez and @GavinNewsom Protection is the last thing I’m feeling right now.”

Chad Reisser: “Hey @LorenaSGonzalez .  I just wanted to pop in and tell you I was talking to a composer friend who’s already lost 1/3rd of his projected 2020 income due to AB5. That work is going out of state, today.  Right now. This is not hypothetical.” 

Will Kennedy: “…and the hits keep coming.  Composer friend wrote this morning to let me know he’s lost 2 scoring jobs from a client who is “no longer employing California freelancers.” due to #AB5 @LorenaAD80 @GavinNewsom @hertzieLA WE NEED A SOLUTION NOW!  Our business is bleeding!

Michelle Mears, reported by KUSI News: “Michelle Mears has been a freelance journalist for 20 years. The flexibility has allowed her to continue her career as a Military wife, mom, and student. Mears says #AB5 has made it harder for her to find work.

Full Interview:

Appraisers Blogs: “Amrock recently sent their California fee panel appraisers an email informing them it will suspend the use of fee panel appraisers in California, in order to comply with AB5 law…

Adam Stein: “Under stupid consequences. California passed AB5 which was intended to HELP employees who were unfairly treated as contractors. My wife teaches yoga a few hours a week; both studios where she teaches fired all their instructors in part because of the new law. Some help. The money wasn’t a big deal, but the experience was really valuable for her as she tries to build a following. Thanks @CAgovernor. I hope you’ll consider amending the law to not apply to anyone working less than 20 hours a week for an employer. That IS a contractor.

Adrianne Duncan, Ari Herstand, reported by KUSI News: “Ari Herstand is an independent musician and blogger, the author of the best-selling book How To Make It in the New Music Business and the founder of the music business advice company Ari’s Take. Forbes calls Ari Herstand “the poster child of DIY music.”

Adrianne Duncan is an independent pianist, singer, songwriter, composer, educator and producer in Los Angeles. She sings with improvisational vocal group Fish to Birds in addition to solo work. She also co-started the Facebook group California Music Professionals United which has more than 1,000 members.

Since AB 5 took effect, Ari and Adrianne said they have seen dozens of performers, mixers, engineers, music teachers, orchestra ensembles, etc. lose jobs and contracts. They were in studio to tell us about how the bill has impacted them.

Jake Stew: “Lost the job I’d had for 4.5 years & all benefits I had accrued as a lease operator for a trucking company outside of California because of this law.

Faultlines: “Hey Faultlines fam! We sadly MAY need to cancel all future shows. We are working hard to navigate through the new CA #AB5 law, but as we are not a corporation that can pay band members on a payroll, we are unsure of how to proceed. We will let you know ASAP. 

As for now, if you love live music and seeing local bands play, we urge you to call your CA legislators and express your frustrations with #AB5 and what it’s doing to freelance musicians.

We thank you for your continued support and hope that an exemption will allow us to continue playing shows for you! #loveisallweown #ab5stories #supportlocalbands #folkmusic @LorenaSGonzalez @GavinNewsom

Mary, reported by KUSI News: “Mary, an interpreter, says that she can no longer make a living because of #AB5.

The bill’s author @LorenaSGonzalez responded to Mary’s story saying “I’m sorry, and I feel that she does feel that way, but I don’t think it’s true.”

Full Interview:

Melissa Schuman: “My family & I have been seriously considering moving out of CA & now with #AB5 it’s the last straw. My husband & I have worked in the entertainment industry & are #SAG members for 20+ years. We simply cannot afford to live here in CA anymore because of bills like #AB5 #RepealAB5.”

“M”, Twitter handle @chinamantrking: “I’m going to have to shut down Jan 1st 2020. My brokers told me I can’t get jobs from them. Shouldn’t we have a choice who we work for? This is not fair at all. Are you going to help us real owner operators with getting jobs? I’m lost for words #fairness #AB5 @LorenaSGonzalez.

Charles Patton: “Now that I’m officially not a freelance copywriter anymore, but just a part-time freelance translator, I’ll be exiting the #AB5 debate to focus on financial survival. Not having $ for lawyer or business lic’ing, and certain not going to be hired, I’ll be pursuing other endeavors.

Later deleted Twitter account.

Brittany Maldonado: ““We’re sorry, but due to recent changes in legislation, we [Verblio] cannot currently accept new writers from your state.” #AB5 #AB5stories @GavinNewsom @Rendon63rd @BenAllenCA @laurafriedman43 @ChristyforCA25 @cafwu @KevinKileyCA

Nat Eliason, founder of Growth Machine: “This new California employment law is so ridiculous.

It’s ~90% looking like we’ll have to stop working with any freelance writer in California, mostly to cover our ass.

We have a few writers in CA making 5 figures with us, and their state just ruined that.

Most freelance writers I know do it because they like it, they don’t want to work with just one company.

The new CA employment law doesn’t help workers, it punishes them.

The only people I see benefiting are the lawyers getting paid to interpret and fight it.

Eddie Arshaid: “@GovPressOffice @CAgovernor @GavinNewsom #AB5 has destroyed my livelihood overnight and the small business I’ve built over 17 years. As an independent appraiser we are being terminated by AMC’s.”

Karen E. Spaeder:For years now, I’ve been writing freelance articles for extra money outside my 9-5. Now I’m told my main client will no longer work w/ CA freelancers b/c of #AB5. Give me back my freedom to choose when & where I do gig work. THIS BILL MUST GO. #AB5stories @Ab5Repeal @KevinKileyCA

Ari Herstand: “Hey @GavinNewsom @IanCalderon @LorenaSGonzalez , re #AB5 my peers and I in music are losing work every day. We need a carve-out asap. Please add this language to section 2(c)(2)(B): “Musician, or music industry professional except where a collective bargaining agreement applies.”

Mysty Stewart: “Young Actors Studio provides affordable theatre education to fill in these gaps in Sonoma County. #AB5 puts our ability to provide scholarships to any child in need and our existence in jeopardy – we cannot afford W2 costs. @LorenaSGonzalez – non profits need to be exempted STAT.

Rosanne Limeres: “@Ab5Of I’ve been a freelance transcriber for 15 years. Not anymore. Lost my jobs. Struggling to figure out what I’m going to do. Thanks #AB5 for destroying my life. Happy New Year!

Nicolas Zart: “I write to advertise the consulting service I am trying to develop. An article is $35 on average. I am now being noticed after 13 grueling years. I can no longer write for these media. My wife has a good job in Long Beach and I am facing moving out. [email protected].”

Jamma Tardif: “I’m a woman, I homeschool. I can’t work for ad agencies or digital marketing agencies now. On the flip side, should I LLC (by the way where’s the $800 waiver?), I can’t work with other freelancers or get a virtual assistant. It’ll be 100 hour work weeks to build again on my own.”

Reverend Eddie Stephens: “I use my own tools to work in the entertainment industry and have to drive approx 30,000 miles a year. All of these are write offs that I depend on to stay in business. Take that away and my family is homeless including my 11 month old baby.”

Micaela Novas: “Translation business-owner here. I have the option to contract translators elsewhere. But I would rather be able to continue contracting with excellent CA-based translators. AB5 brings a lot of uncertainty. Without an exception, we may be forced to contract outside CA. @co_ptic

Jacob Lee: “Spent time with a friend today who just lost his biggest client an insurance company. He is a private investigator (supposedly exempt) he has to let his employees go. Insurance company lawyers want all investigators in house no more 3rd parties due to co-employment risk. #AB5.”

William Nauenburg: “@Ab5Of I’m 24 years old, and I quit my MA program to pursue a career as a freelance writer. Now, I can’t do it. This law has killed my chances before I’ve even begun. I’m now looking for other states to move to so I can pursue my dream. Thanks CA.”

Kristin Lund: “Please repeal AB5!  I’m a non-union professional classical singer in Northern CA and have lost my contracts due to this poorly written bill.

Briana Sharp: “I am an independent management consultant who has had my own business for almost 7 years. I have an LLC, business bank account, license, etc. #AB5 has made it next to impossible for me to go to market with other small firms.

Erik Fowler: “We have been getting emergency calls to go to work due to the Kincade fire. Starting today for a week we have 80 trucks out each day, we have 15 of our own and are hiring the rest. Next year or next disaster because of #AB5 this kind of response will not be able to happen.

Lisa Weiss: “AB5 is destroying our small business, after 38 years now what will we do?

Dr. J Jackson-Beckham: “My sister in-law writes and produces immersive theatre. AB5 has really rattled her community.”

Debbie Chinn: “One of our theatres expect to reduce 75% of their programming due to AB5 increased costs #AB5SB.”

Andrea St. Clair: “Well, a friend of mine just lost his job as a theatre’s Technical Director due to AB5. Thanks, @LorenaSGonzalez @GavinNewsom @KevinMcCartyCA People shouldn’t lose their livelihoods over this and many non-profits/small box can’t make the W2 transition. #FixAB5.”

Lilly Walters: “AB-5 is negatively impacting those rights by restricting the ability of freelance sign language interpreters and realtime captioners to work with the deaf, deaf-blind, deaf-disabled, hard of hearing, and late-deafened communities. #ab5.

R. Scott Moxley: “After having written 6,000+ stories & seeing the closing of OC Weekly, was just told by potential new employer I would be legally limited to just 35 paid articles a year under CA’s new AB5 governing freelance journalism.”

Megan Kellie: “I am a nurse practitioner. I have independently contracted for many years filling in holes at small private owned offices. AB 5 has ruined this. It is forcing many small physician offices to close. It is increasing the gap in healthcare. #AB5Works #disruptinequality #AB5. Access to healthcare. Patient care. Many small physician offices closing due to the inability to contract nurse practitioners. It is difficult to find full time help in many rural areas and many of the offices rely on contracted help to stay open. @AsmEGarciaAD56 please vote against AB5. I am a nurse practitioner. This law has negatively affected healthcare professionals. I have my own company and contract with many small private physician offices. Especially in rural health. This law is increasing the gap in healthcare.

Alma Vivian Marquez: “This is just so ridiculous. This law has created incredible turmoil for lots of non-profits with whom I work. I’ve also wondered how the campaigns that elect these folks are going to be run now without ability to hire contractors. #AB5.

Candy Goulette: “Her “service” cost me my livelihood, likely my home and any semblance of retirement. I’m 66; I should be able to determine how and at what I work, without government interference. Save me? Hell, no. #RepealAB5.”

Kim Kavin: “This is what laws like CA’s #AB5 really do: “Overnight, Lutz went from earning $80,000 a year as a subcontractor to making $15 an hour.” This is what NJ must avoid. Kill AB5’s ugly cousin #S863. #IRSnotABC #FightForFreelancers.”

Wendi Corbin: “My husband is a paramedic that’s stationed outside of a rural ER. They fired all of the respiratory therapists and told the medics they have to do the job now…

Sarah Stallman: “Hi Lorena, musician & NPP voter here. Please understand that the musicians union represents roughly only 5-7% of us. To say they are the reps for our entire industry is simply not true. The rest of us are musicians who have chosen to be independent and are losing work bc of #AB5.

Anonymous: “@LorenaAD80 I’m a Democrat. Your bill AB5 is threatening to put the non profit children’s theater I work for out of commission after 88 years of serving title one schools in Oakland. Please clarify your bill and #savethearts in California! Please actually look at AB5. It’s hurting actors, interpraters, after-school programs, musicians. Small theaters are closing, music festivals are being canceled. People who have disabilities are losing flexibility… It’s hurting the arts, the language is too vague! One if the children’s theaters I work for has been serving title one schools for 88 years. They may have to shut down. The point was to make multi million dollar companies take responsibility for the people who make them money, but true Independent Contractors are the ones paying.”

Elissa Jill Lieberman, tweeted by Brittany Maldonado: “Elissa Jill Lieberman writes: “It’s the end of an era at the #SanDiego Art Loft.“ Thanks to #AB5, this space—once used by students & for art displays—is now for rent if anyone is interested. Another dream stunted. Another light flickering out. @ToddGloria @toniatkins.”

Cecily, tweeted by Kevin Kiley: “#AB5stories, Cecily: “I have my own editing business. I’ve been turned down by many companies because of where I live. My husband had to downsize his work due to #COVID19. I need to buy food for our 5 teenagers and want to earn enough to survive this crisis. Please suspend #AB5.”

Joshua Saladino: “You should look into how this is making it difficult for Nurse Anesthesiologists to practice in California, and the potential impacts on health care if these contracted anesthetists can no longer practice in CA.”

Kat Tretina: “Really, I should be thanking @LorenaSGonzalez . Thanks to #AB5, I added several new clients who had to replace their CA writers, boosting my monthly income by over $3K per month. I just filed my 2019 tax return, & I hit $150,000 for the year. But sure, I’m an exploited freelancer.

Margarita Reyes: “The rhetoric “they” use is an attempt to demonize us & validate THEIR cause. Typical of oppressors. We are mothers, fathers, professionals struggling to regain our livelihood. All we ask is to be able to continue our work. #AB5Stories #AB5 #filmmaker.

Kim Mueller: “This makes our minds up. Finishing up my nurse practitioner education this year, taking our 30 year pensions as an RN and police officer out of California. Will practice independently as an FNP in another state. Sad, CA was my forever home.

Esther M. Hermida: “I’m so for #freedomtofreelance. Doing what I love and for whomever I want to do business with is a right  #AB5 has taken from me. #FixAB5 so I can quickly recover after #COVID-19. Just let me be the voice for non-English speakers.”

Joseph, tweeted by Kevin Kiley: “#AB5stories, Joseph: “I’ve lost $1,000 worth of work per month because of #AB5, and now that #COVID19 has slowed down other work, I’m in danger of losing my housing and health insurance. I have less money than ever and not one of my clients brought me on as a full-time employee.”

Jacob Lee: “Packing day – moving our family and our company to #Texas due to #AB5 #Calexit #caleg.

Gitta, tweeted by Kevin Kiley: “#AB5stories, Gitta: “I’m an IT consultant for small businesses & just got tested for COVID-19. I have a pending job for a client to enable them to work remotely. I need to work with a subcontractor, but according to #AB5 I have to hire them as an employee to do this 4-hour job.”

Alex Monsalve: “I’m an OT and my mother is a PTA. We have both been put out of work because of AB5. So when any of these yoohoos supporting AB5 give their fake “ support” to healthcare workers during this time, I call BS!!”

Brian Natarte: “Suspending or ending #AB5 will help my 911 center utilize translation services for non English speaking victims and interpretive services for the hearing impaired.

Manny Mota: “I own a small language biz. I’m not rich, just enough to take care of my family. #AB5 has wiped out the profit margins on a lot of the work we used to provide so we’ve dropped it. Now our clients use remote interpreting w/out of state providers. Lost income for me & interpreters.

Lise Feng: “It was already tough to be a reporter, but with #AB5 cutting #freelancer gigs and now #COVID19 forcing layoffs, pay cuts, and furloughs, the hits keep coming.”

Mike Hruby: “Texting w/ a Boston Univ. grad in Biomed Engineering, NanoTech major, minors in Chem & Bio, designed a heart-on-a-chip. He wanted to IC in med-tech design after graduation, & pay $110K school debt. Stopped by MA’s anti-IC law, the model for CA’s #AB5. #repealAB5 Horrible laws!

Michele Garcia: “As a person who suffers from autoimmune disease, freelancing and independent contractor work lets me choose how and when I can work. AB5 takes that choice away. #RepealAB5.

“Judah,” Twitter handle @dopeconfections: “I startd a biz bcause I wanted a family & to be avail to my kids like my Mom was to me. I never had a fam but it allowed me to support myself, help othrs & support my aging Mom who’s in NY. I tell othr women to have a fam & work for themslvs. #AB5 makes it impossible to compete.”

Paso Robles Press: “Correct. That is the idiocy of #AB5 for freelance writers too. Our weekly columnists are now prevented from contributing as it makes no sense to employ them for the 2 hours weekly it takes for them to write it up. @LorenaSGonzalez is costing our elderly contributors $40 per week. It was an opportunity for elderly retired people to earn $20 per hour doing something they had engaged in for years, now they have nothing on their own. What about dinner $ or prescription $ or dental $? #AB5 is cruel and unusual when you have the facts.”

Joseph Knoop: “A third of my work as a freelance journalist was killed. And I was one of the lucky ones. @GavinNewsom #AB5.

Brian Asher Alhadeff: “Newsom has ZERO concept of the damage AB5 has caused California. I’m a musician and I can say FIRST HAND he’s killed over 1000 musician jobs on the Central Coast.

Kevin Kiley: “#AB5stories, Nikki: “I work with the elderly performing ultrasounds, so my livelihood has been cut drastically by #COVID19. Now my manager is asking if I fall into this #AB5 mess. My pay has dropped at least $3k/month, losing the last little bit of money I get will devastate me.”

Mary Hernandez Castellanos: “Miss Lorena. I am glad that some of my colleagues are being hired. I couldn’t be hired for 8 hours during quarantine or off quarantine. My work is in 3hr increments for various of clients. School districts (iep), community (various organizations) through my clients I am able to work and provide my professional services. No entity will hire for a full time job. #AB5 has taken choice away from me and my clients. Please consider the respect in which I have approached you. Look over what we have been asking for. Fixing #AB5 to help not only us but our community! Is fair. No school hires an interpreter full time they use staff! I am called through my clients to provide this very needed communication to the parents. Please consider what we ask #FixAB5.

Chris Colin Lopez: “In two weeks I will run out of money. I can’t get my source of income back because of your legislation, #AB5 @LorenaSGonzalez @LorenaAD80 . Teaching was my passion and in times like now when so many kids are at home, I can’t help out. I am a registered Democrat but your cynicism and ill-written legislation have cemented my long held belief that both parties are corrupt, outdated, and backed by special interests. I refuse to get a job outside because I would be putting my health and my family’s at risk. My ‘gig’ job as you call it with disdain allowed me to sustain myself, to sustain others, to have a medical plan. Now, in two weeks I will lose a lot. You are just as incompetent and obtuse as @realDonaldTrump . I don’t care how you cut it, you’re of the same thread. #RepealAB5. You might not read this but you’ve put a lot of people at risk financially and health wise. You are inept, inferior, lacking, useless, pathetic, you are irresponsible, you twit! #DemocratsVSAB5 #COVID19.

Amanda Deibert: “When my daughter was a newborn the TV show I was working on got cancelled while I was on maternity leave. With no job to go back to I worked (WRITING) from home for the next two years… a LOT of that work I could not do Now to support my family under #AB5.”

Christine W.: “Well Lorena, my kids asked why we’re broke, and I said because corrupt politicians made it illegal for me to continue my work from home side gig.

Wendi Koble of Swoon Films: “Weddings postponed/canceled. We still don’t have any dates and couples can’t plan ANYTHING. Meanwhile, 8 years of hard work building my business wiped away in 2 months. Still no help for small biz. #AB5 has ruined the film industry. #opencalifornianow.

Tony Hope: “This is my mantra.  I COULD be earning a living if companies weren’t terrified to hire me.  I have a client who owes me 8k but won’t pay for fear of audit EVEN THOUGH IM AN LLC.  I don’t like taking PUA, but I have no choice thanks to #AB5.”

Jean Bentley: “Thanks to the combo of #AB5 and #COVID19 I have made 1/3 of the income I made at this time last year, and the majority of my clients have dried up. Shoutout 2 the CA legislators who refuse to acknowledge the damage they’ve done to my once-thriving career! It’s not that #AB5 destroyed journalism, it’s just that it has stopped in its tracks the careers of anyone who’s tried to find a way to work within its crumbling framework.  #COVID19 is the wrecking ball that is finishing the job.

Lisa Rothstein: “Simple! Have your Bar/Bat Mitzvah in another state, with an out-of-state rabbi. Have an out-of-state relative “gift” you the rabbi’s services. Another blow to CA event planners & venues but do @LorenaAD80 @GavinNewsom care? I can’t wait for #SCOTUS to take up #AB5. #RepealAB5. 

BC of #AB5, once Bar Mitzvahs, weddings & other large joyous occasions can take place, no one will hold them in California. The revenue once received by CA venues, hotels, restaurants, caterers…all GONE. Event planners will move operations out of state with their tax dollars.”

Cathleen, tweeted by Kevin Kiley: “Cathleen: “The ability to work independently provides me as a single mother of multiple children with special needs flexibility to earn livable wages. I CHOOSE to work independently. #AB5 does not protect the working middle class. It severely cripples it!”

Denise, tweeted by Kevin Kiley: “Denise: “I lost my income and am losing my skills as an ASL translator. Without interpreters, the deaf will be misled, leading to wrong decisions and possibly even death. With #AB5 repealed, I’d help them with doctor visits & help children who are now homeschooled.”

Palm Springs Wedding: “When you destroyed the wedding industry due to #AB5 we all thought that was the worst thing you could do, but thank you Lorena for showing us that there were even deeper levels of your hatred toward entrepreneurship. Focus on creating jobs, not forcing them elsewhere.

Marc Topaz: “I’m a freelance graphic artist. I have a business license, work in my own office, have multiple clients, and do large projects so the 35-piece limit per client isn’t an issue.

I’ve specifically lost work because companies don’t want to “take a chance” of getting caught in AB5.

Deborah, tweeted by Kevin Kiley: “#AB5stories, Deborah: “I’m a 67-year-old grandmother living on Social Security. I was also an online transcriptionist earning a much needed $200/month. I love the work & it’s a perfect fit for working at home. Due to #AB5, CA residents were dropped by the company I worked with.

Richard: “Tell your store to your assembly person what AB 5 took away from you. My wife and me have lost so much income we are leaving SoCal. To get back to work. #RepealAB5.

Shonna, tweeted by Kevin Kiley: “#AB5stories, Shonna: “I had to close my company of 10 years due to the #AB5 law! It has destroyed my finances, and I had to lay off 20 people. It is very difficult to keep up a small business for many people at this point.”

“Punctuatrix”: “#AB5 destroyed my 10-year career overnight by arbitrarily targeting freelance editors in a bill meant to protect gig workers. As a progressive democrat I’m horrified. As a small business owner I’m devastated. As a Californian I’m ashamed. @BuffyWicks @NancySkinnerCA #fixAB5.

JoBeth McDaniel, author at ASJA: “I spent a large chunk of 2019 working on a book, then learned from IP attorneys that book publishers are quietly blacklisting CA authors bc of #AB5. The law is so nebulous in its “protections” that authors/other creators could suffer serious financial harm under this illegal law. I also spent a chunk of 2019 in classes/seminars about podcasting/YouTube, had begun talks w/people to hire. I’ve done payroll for my dad’s smallbiz. #AB5 means I’d have to hire W2 employees for a temp 2-3 hour job. 1000s of CA entrepreneurs are making the same decision: NOPE. And for uninformed folks who think I’m simply being “cheap” and “not paying benefits”: good freelancers in audio/video make WAY more than min. wage and don’t want to be W2 for a 2-3 hour job. #AB5 bans all freelance video/audio work – unconstitutional, ridiculous, unAmerican.

“@KFairWrites”: “Take away my lollipop? I am a lifelong Dem & 4th-generation Californian whose decades-long career was destroyed by #AB5. How dare you trivialize the impact of poorly written legislation on hardworking Californians. @CA_Dem #RepealAB5.”

Luke Thompson: “Yes, but I hope he will reconsider his support for the #PROAct since #AB5 utterly ruined the freelance landscape for writers like me, and did NOT make anybody decide to hire me on as an employee instead like it was supposed to. Joe has my vote but I intend to hold feet 2 fire.

Laurie: “@LorenaAD80 this was my situation. 56 yo with disability. B2B allowed me an improved quality of life, my own schedule. RN MSN healthcare educator. Cant work in academia because I haven’t been at bedside within 5 years due to disease. AB5 killed my situation.

Bill Neufeld: “I started my first business in the 80s, working out of a one-bedroom apartment, used an Apple-2E for invoicing and carried my tools in the trunk of a beat up old Volvo. That business grew to employ about 20 but would be illegal today. #RepealAB5.

Mark J. Smith: “I’m a musician, and before the lockdown I had lost money and jobs due to AB5 (approx $1000 per month in 2020). Now I’m obviously out of work due to the virus. AB5 makes it harder to make a living when it’s already a struggle! @LorenaSGonzales.

Aaron Gayden: “Dear @LorenaSGonzalez . @LorenaAD80, my wife & son work for a nonprofit & lost income bc of AB5 reclassification. I’ve spent 2020 trying to comply w AB5 so I can continue to work as a band leader.

A fellow band leader who you’ve met w made -$2 on a gig after complying w AB5.

Deborah: “Wow, that’s messed up. My life has been directly impacted by AB 5. I didn’t lose a lollipop. I lost my current means of economic survival.  Thank you for bringing this to my attention @ShannonGroveCA I didn’t know that @SenHannahBeth thought so little of us, CA economy’s backbone.

Georgina Penate: “You bet I’m voting. I’ll make sure to inform everyone that after having a successful business for 16yrs you sent the order to destroy it. You’ve been destroying our Cali. lifestyle with your draconian orders. #Ab5, #SB276, #Ab262 #shame.

Manny Mota: “So Bird Scooters just laid off 406 employees in a 2-minute Zoom call. Meanwhile, in DelusionLand, @LorenaAD80 wants everyone to believe that W2 status somehow confers stability, good income, job security & benefits. Freelancers HAD all this PRE-#AB5.

Miki Yamashita: “I am a proud member of three unions: @sagaftra @ActorsEquity and @AGMusicalArtist but performing artists need to supplement our union gig income with flexible IC work. #AB5 hurts performers’ survival jobs as well as our artistic pursuits. #RepealAB5.”

Josephine, tweeted by Kevin Kiley: “#AB5stories, Josephine: “I’m a freelance voice over artist. I was just contacted by a San Diego TV station to host 40 commercial segments. Due to #AB5, they decided it was a legal concern & opted to use talent from Arizona. It would’ve totaled 30-40K that I’d pay taxes on in CA.”

Bonnie Burton: “As a freelance journalist living in California, my days are numbered thanks to some really unfair and unrealistic employment laws that just passed #AB5 specifically. But between less jobs, content farms & more writers willing to work for free, it’s just not a stable career.

Olga Lexell: “Hi, socialist here who is also a freelancer worker. literally no freelancer in california supports AB5. it has completely decimated us. it did nothing to protect “gig workers” and classified ALL freelancers as gig workers.

Braden Drake: “As an attorney trying to help small businesses navigate AB5, I can say it’s been a convoluted mess that’s doing much more harm than good. I’m disappointed in my own party. #AB5stories.”

Luis Alvarado: “Agree #AB5 is the perfect example.  Was built to help enrich Unions, but it hurt the undocumented communities the most.

Katrina Jayne: “And I urge YOU @JoeBiden to take the time to speak with the event industry so you can learn about the realistic & devastating impact that AB5 is having on our industry. We are struggling and need AB5 repealed! #repealAB5 #AB5stories.”

Morgan Overholt: “AB5 and the ProAct will destroy the business Ive worked so hard to build. Please senator, speak to real people who are being impacted by this law. I won’t vote for any candidate in favor of policies that will kill my career.”

Juan Carlos Acosta: “@LorenaAD80 I am democrat and former union member, and #AB5 will hurt my ability to hire instrumentalists for gigs. I hire up to 40 musicians 2x a year through the union for sometimes as little as 4 hours of work. Making them employees doesn’t sense. I really wish you would work with musicians and not be dismissive.”

Angelle: “Welp. Just lost a freelance job from a longtime client, thanks to #AB5. The law is so vague and poorly written, their policy now is they won’t hire ANYONE in California, just to be safe. Guess who’s calling her state reps today. Again. @Asm_Nazarian. And the more I think about this, the angrier it makes me. This is editorial work I would have done safely from home, and would have paid state taxes on the income. That’s lost revenue for my family AND for California. #ab5 #repealAB5 @Asm_Nazarian. And yes, they literally said that was why they were taking me off the project.

Malcolm, tweeted by Kevin Kiley: “#AB5stories, Malcolm: “I’m an independent cinematographer & video editor. My work has been farmed out to other states to avoid #AB5. Creatives, artists, musicians, writers, techies & more built their livelihoods around their craft. I hope the law is suspended in this dire time.”

Jimmy Strano: “Sir, with all due respect: Cut it out! Most of us drivers want to remain Independent Contractors because of the flexibility and because we make more than minimum wage. #AB5 only guarantees minimum wage. Not good enough.”

Black Small Business Association of California (BSBA), reported by The Sacramento Observer:

The Black Small Business Association of California (BSBA) sent a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom June 12. In it, the group criticized the state’s proposed allocation of $20 million in the 2020-21 budget to enforce AB 5.

When the controversial labor law took effect in January, AB 5 reclassified millions of workers in California from independent contractors to W-2 employees.

The letter, signed by the organization’s president Salena Pryor, argues that the state’s costly plan to enforce AB 5 would only exacerbate income inequality.

“BSBA believes that at this time, when California is facing a massive $54 billion deficit and the state’s unemployment rate is 24 percent, it would be fiscally imprudent to spend $20 million on enforcement of a policy that has been detrimental to the livelihoods of Black small business owners,” the letter reads.

The fight to amend or, for some, to overturn AB 5 has continued amid the COVID-19 pandemic and, now, the George Floyd protests. In the wake of worldwide efforts to call out systemic racism, Black business organizations are speaking out against the restrictions that AB 5 has placed on African American entrepreneurs in California.

Bruno Bardet: “I have been a Rideshare Driver for 5 years. I do not want to be an employee. Where is our FREEDOM? Who do you think you are to take this FREEDOM away from us? Most drivers do not want a boss. You are killing the FREEDOM of Enterprise.

The California Physical Therapy Association: “Physical therapists who work independently, negotiate their own rates and hours, and use their own equipment are now being exploited as employees with no benefits and less flexibility. Makes NO sense in home health. #AB5Fix4PT @LorenaAD80 @DrPanMD @SenHannahBeth @HollyJMitchell.

Danielle, tweeted by Kevin Kiley: “#AB5stories, Danielle: “I just lost my main source of income because they didn’t want to make me an employee to follow #AB5. My other side jobs I use to sustain myself are freelance gigs that are on my own accord and I enjoy. This law will cause me to lose my home.”

Andi HK: “One of my BFF soul sisters is boarding a plane to TX this morning. They are the latest CA family to leave the tarnished Golden State. House listed and everything. My heart is sunk. Other states are thriving and the mass exodus will continue. #RecallGavinNewsom.”

Maggie “Macro”: “I remember contracts!  For years I’ve worked as an independent contractor and it was great. I could stay home with my kids and earn over $70 per hour. Now @veenadubal abd @LorenaAD80 took that away from me.  It’s been a terrible year. Good thing I’m rich anyway.

Jim Thompson “@JimmySportToons”: “Re: why I am not cartooning for LA Times #AB5 – a monumentally stupid and poorly drafted law put me on the sideline. My editors at @latimessports supported me, but their hands were tied.

To those who looked forward to my cartoons each Saturday, Thank You.

Alisha, tweeted by “Yes On Proposition 22”: ““You’re telling me not to feed my baby at this point!”

Single mom Alisha relies on the flexibility of @Lyft to take care of her daughter. She’s one of the hundreds of thousands of drivers who will suffer if @Uber and Lyft are forced to shut down by politicians. #SaveCARideshare.

Garett Martocello: “I have lost a lot of business to AB5. I will always be against it. @LorenaSGonzalez should have known better that a broad sweeping law would affect more then just drivers and should have written it as so. Now there are thousands of us tangled up in this mess. #RepealAB5.”

Michel Fadlallah: “Just cost me my job as an Uber driver. I am 66 on SS. Now I have to move to another state to make ends meet. Been here since 1975. Thanks Lorena.

David Barton: “AB5 crushed my wife’s fitness studio (small business that gave 15 well paid ICs a place to work when they wanted) and that was before coronavirus. Lorena talks in platitudes and panders to big union donors while crushing independent biz.

California Black Chamber of Commerce:

Black lives, Black families and Black businesses have been devastated by the triple catastrophes of AB5, COVID-19, and the violent racism that permeates the very institutions we rely on to protect our freedom as Americans.

How dare you use the shooting of civilians by police as a political weapon to defend your misguided and disastrous law that has robbed thousands of Californians of their right to earn a living with dignity, respect, and independence.

The Black men and women who have chosen to work for themselves are not asking for your “protection” from self-employment. We are not asking for your permission to earn a living as we choose, by starting a business for ourselves or control our own future as an independent contractor.

We’re tired of paternalistic institutions that purport to “protect” us while enabling, defending, and propagating the systemic racism that has cost so many Black lives.

AB5 has already crushed thousands of Black businesses and will keep more from operating in the Gig Economy. Nearly a million Californians would lose jobs, opportunities, and independence if the future of AB5 were up to you.

If COVID-19 taught us anything, it’s that people who lost jobs during this economic downturn realized they could work from home as independent contractors, make more money and spend more time with their loved ones.

We’re not asking for your help or misguided protection. Just open the door and let us help ourselves.


Edwin Lombard
President and Chief Executive Officer
California Black Chamber of Commerce

John Meyers: “Just picked up my friend from car repair, was worried Uber/Lyft #AB5 shutdown would strand her.  $$ not to a driver.

My blind friend is freaked.  Rideshare changed her family’s life, giving her way to take kids to school, shop, get to job at Society for Blind. #NewsomFail.

Tom H.: “It’s truly irritating how this is just framed around Uber and Lyft.

#AB5 affects just as much Journalists, Musicians, Truckers, construction workers and any number of other freelance jobs.

I’ve had numbers of friends move out of CA just to run their jobs in CA from OR or NV.

Marsha, tweeted by Kevin Kiley: “#AB5stories, Marsha: “I lost my job of 12 years as a medical transcriptionist because of #AB5. Many in this profession value the flexibility in hours and working from home more than employee status. Now I have no money at all.”

Sarah, tweeted by Kevin Kiley: “#AB5stories, Sarah: “#AB5 has completely decimated my livelihood as a highly experienced interpreter for the deaf. The right to work as an individual wishes is a basic, foundational freedom which this law has stripped from us, making it impossible to provide for our families.””

Marina, tweeted by Kevin Kiley: “#AB5stories, Marina: “I’m a certified court interpreter. I’ve been very happily freelancing for 15 years. I can choose which agencies to work with, and work as much or as little as I want to spend time with my 3-year-old. #AB5 is destroying my wonderful work/life combo.”

Kelly, tweeted by Kevin Kiley: “#AB5stories, Kelly: “I’m an independent contractor in the events industry. We’re all self-employed. Sometimes I’m the contractor, sometimes I’m the one contracted. It’s a beautiful way to do business. #AB5 denies that freedom. And with COVID-19, it’s a scary time for all of us.”

Danielle, tweeted by Kevin Kiley: “#AB5stories, Danielle: “I just lost my main source of income because they didn’t want to make me an employee to follow #AB5. My other side jobs I use to sustain myself are freelance gigs that are on my own accord and I enjoy. This law will cause me to lose my home.”

Sequoia, tweeted by Kevin Kiley: “#AB5stories, Sequoia: “I’ve been a freelance artist for 20 years, and we are a huge part of what makes LA special. But it’s hard to be a freelancer, and #AB5 makes things 100 times more difficult. The law makes it too expensive for local companies to hire local professionals.”

Calista, tweeted by Kevin Kiley: “#AB5stories, Calista: “I am a terminal manager for a transportation company that leases owner-operators to transport mobile offices and manufactured homes. Due to #AB5, the company I work for is closing my terminal and cancelling the California-based owner operator leases.”

Kellie Gee: “I was a 1099 Executive Healthcare Recruiter that all came to an end January 1 2020. I was earning a 6 figure income working for myself on my terms. I recruited MD’s and Healthcare Executive’s for hospitals, assisted living and skilled nursing facilities throughout the country. I’m devastated and feel fortunate to have found this group.”

Bronwyn DeHavilland: “I’m a home health therapist, or I should say was a home health provider until this law came along and decimated my career of 10 years. I am furious.

Shonney Tropper: “I lost contracts with 12 home health facilities due to AB5 losing 90% of by business of 15 years. I had a registry where I hired occupational therapists, physical therapists and speech therapists to see home health clients. None of them wanted to be W2 employees so I was forced to close my business.

Sylvia Amorino Gonzalez: “I run a small nonprofit opera company and am scrambling to comply with this terribly written law after only hearing about it 2 weeks ago…I am receiving emails daily, it seems, of companies in the SF Bay Area going dark until they figure AB5 out, or cancelling their season because they don’t have the money to comply or can’t set it up in time, or closing altogether. I am sad and sick as I watch the arts crumble around me.. Some of these companies have been in business for as long as 50 years!!!! All give jobs to many musicians, singers, actors, dancers, designers, staff, etc.  I am in shock. I have been in the business for over 40 years and have not seen anything as tragic as this EVER!

Simon Eves: “Board member and tech person for small non-profit amateur community theater. No employees. All volunteer-run by retired and/or hobbyists. We hire individuals as director, music director, stage manager, lighting designer, sound designer, sound engineer, set designer, costume designer, actor, musician etc. as single stipend or payment-per-appearance with 1099 (mostly in the three-figure range). Almost all (except pit musicians) are therefore grossly underpaid in hourly terms (the creative staff will put hundreds of hours into the full process of a show), but nobody minds because we’re in it for the art. Few of us rely on those stipends as primary income, but some do, and the rest of us still appreciate being rewarded. NONE of these disciplines are currently exempt under AB5, so it’s now illegal for us to pay anybody this way. The only options (as I understand it) are to have them volunteer and be paid only expenses (impossible to justify paying the same amounts), to make them employees and pay them minimum wage for every hour (more complicated and totally unaffordable for the company as we just don’t have enough income from tickets etc.), or to oblige them to incorporate in some form and then pay them as B2B (impractical for most). There is no practical way to sustain such a company under the new law.

Rosie: “Are you kidding? You stole my ability to earn a living with #AB5!

Fred Topel: “Interestingly, had I been an employee I would not have been able to work with you as part of @CAFWU all year. Employers can & do restrict employees’ public comments. It’s only as freelancers we are free to speak out. Ironically as employees the driver advocates would be muzzled.”

Mia Nill: “Many of us have had no employment at all since #ab5 steamrolled through.  Contractors turned to workers out of State do the that confusing & over reaching law.  You ‘protected’ us out of our careers.

Bella: “I am a gig worker and I tell everyone I can to vote #YesOnProp22. Even if it fails and I have to leave California, I’m not forgetting you, Lorena. You’ve made enemies out of a lot of people. Looking forward to donating to and campaigning for your political opponents.”

Will Rontani: “I am serious we have an Artist Apocolypse. All the craft and cultural fairs are closed. Themed Entertainment closed. Street performers have to work busk now… I mean I can’t contract with a business, so now I have to work for donations?  WTF, @LorenaSGonzalez ? Seriously… I lost business before covid.  AB5 took my contract then Coronavirus took my venues.

Vanessa McGrady: “That’s not accurate either. They are libertarian. Please also stop saying that anyone who opposes #AB5 is GOP, anti-union and/or a bot. We are not. We are people who have businesses and want to keep them. Is it really that hard to understand and admit the devastation you caused?

Remi: “Too little, too late. That 11-year gig that shriveled up this year because of AB5 is no longer there. And there is a pandemic. You pulled the rug out from under me, destroyed my earning ability at age 64.

American Drivers Club: “Drivers do not want to be employees! You are reducing the amount of money we can earn #repealab5 Preventing delivery without an agreement with the restaurant stops #IndependantContractors from being independant. We should be able to provide delivery outside of the app! #NoAB2149

Mary Harrison: “First it was drivers, then car washers-now newspaper carriers? Are you serious? Do you not understand that AB5 negatively affects over 300 occupations. The majority of us making well over minimum wage, with successful careers, working as we choose and are not misclassified! It’s great that you supposedly want to help those who need it, but guess what? The vast majority of IC’s in CA don’t need your “help”! #RepealAB5 and write an new law that leaves us alone! I’m an adult who chose to work the way I do.I don’t need your protection. #mylabormychoice.

Reisne Stubblefiel: “Hey, guess what, not everyone wants to be an employee. Many of us wish to be self-employed. The B prong of the ABC test makes selling services to business more difficult than is reasonable. Stop hurting the self-employed in these trying times.

Lisa Rothstein: “So I should just trust my wonderful employer to let me show up to work whenever I feel like it, split for art class, when I want to spend time w/family or just chill at the beach while still offering benefits? Where is this company? I’d love to work there! #RepealAB5 #YESonProp22.”

Anonymous: “Lorena please listen! My previous GIG provider followed the laws. First, she lowered my pay then, to be “employed” I needed to sign a contract that stated she owns my curriculum content, that I couldn’t work for her “competition “. I was a B2B so I was her competition now AND when I went through the new employee handbook and asked questions , she was so offended she decided not to “utilize my services”. I am disabled, 57 and have a Masters in Nursing Ed. I cannot do the work colleges and others expect. This one view of AB5 has killed my future.

Armineh Johannes: “Please exempt freelance/independent translators form this unfair law which is taking away our livelihood just because we live in California.Translation agencies telling me that they can no longer work with me because I am in California (unless I incorporate-so costly & burdensome).

Sean Kurtela: “I’m a responsible company and I treat my contractors very well. Your bill hurts us all. Stop tweeting about it. #RepealAB5.

Sonia Adame: “You completely discount the MILLIONS of people affected by this mess. I’m not a bot, I’m a person who could lose their livelyhood. This bill was a complete miscalculation hurting small business and independent contractors. IBelieve this bill is uniting both sides of the aisle.

Sarah Stallman: “I am a freelancer (musician, to be exact) by choice. I’m not a misclassified worker. I also vote Democrat. Not everyone who is against AB5 is right wing. In fact when it comes to musicians, nearly everyone I know is staunchly Democrat AND against AB5. Please remember that.”

Joseph Knoop: “I’d actually have a couple grand more in my bank account if I could have been writing news posts for one of my clients. Instead I’m trying to figure out if I have enough to make ends meet this month, Assemblywoman. #AB5.

Alana Maiello: “I’ve had to delay an invoice for 4 weeks because a client outside of CA was nervous about AB5 and didn’t want to issue payment until I had an LLC. I am getting my LLC set up. I have a great client and know that she will come through. However, I know of colleagues who were just dropped by clients outside of CA becuase they were nervous about AB5. @LorenaAD80 and @GavinNewsom and @Asm_Nazarian , small businesses and freelancers are losing income due to #ab5. Why don’t you care if we are protected? Can’t we protect everyone? #ab5stories.”

Stealth The Producer: “I cant speak for anyone else, but i’m actually suffering more not being able to work remotely from home like I had been doing for close to 4 years before #ab5. I would actually have more money and wouldnt need any financial assistance, or unemployment insurance.

Rob Gordon: “I have voted Democratic for my entire life, but I really want to express a huge amount of gratitude to . @KevinKileyCA for trying to help us. He as been a real class act and has acted in a true bipartisan manner in showing he cares about independent workers in California.

Lauren: “I’d personally be surviving all this with a lot less stress if I could write the way I did before. My background before I became a freelancer is in hospitality, I can’t go back to a service job in this crisis. It’s crazy. sorry @LorenaAD80 #ab5 is hurting my family.

Matthew Gilbert: “I’m an IC with my job at stake. My ability to work from home is far superior to any employee.  He’s got the right move. #repealab5.

Mike Cottone: “Lorena, I  am a self employed trumpeter. AB5 is wiping out side jobs left and right. My income is generated by pooling multiple 1099 gigs/shows/events into one savings account. NOT W2! W2 gigs are few and far between. On top of COVD, enforcing AB5 will crush the arts community.

Kelly: “I wouldn’t need to seek unemployment because many deaf/hard of hearing people need my services! #AB5 is what’s in the way of my income and the #deaf #hoh receiving remote captions during their #distancelearning which is their right through #ADA! #americanswithdisabilitiesact.”

Vanessa Garcia: “A lot of us who want #AB5 gone are actually not right wing folks.  We’re just people who don’t want to work for an employer and want to do our own thing. Why is that so offensive to you?

Cori: “AB5 is detrimental to my small blog. Hiring contractors to do small things for me here and there is how I make it work. I cannot ask all of those contractors to become employees. It is unsustainable. I will have to look out of state for help.

Elyse: “As a person with a disability, freelance writing is the only way I have been able to make a living and have a viable career.  AB5 will not only rob people like me of having dignity and a source of income.

Lucy: “As an Independent contractor Interpreter I work for multiple agencies and have the freedom to work when I want and as much as I want. I love what I do and AB5 will drastically limit the work I can perform. I can get a job with benefits and payroll deductions, but I prefer to work as an independent contractor because it’s more lucrative and flexible.”

Baofeng: “I am a freelance translator.  Two major clients just locked me out of vendor portals, just because I live in California. Over 90% of my income is from these two companies.”

Amber: “I love being my own boss, contributing to multiple publications, controlling my own schedule, being flexible enough to take time off whenever my young son needs me. If one of my clients offered me a full-time W-2 job, I’d probably say no. Luckily, I haven’t yet been directly impacted by AB5. But I do have a solid client that’s started offering me smaller pieces of work, so I worry about hitting that 35-submission limit. It’d be a shame if I had to turn down work, from a client that pays and treats me well, due to an arbitrary limit.

Eddie: “I use my own tools to work in the entertainment industry and have to drive approx 30,000 miles a year. All of these are write offs that I depend on to stay in business. Take that away and my family is homeless including my 11 month old baby.

Stephany: “I quit my tech job 4.5 years ago to shear sheep and write. In mid 2017, I moved my grandmother to California. She is completely cognitively and physically impaired. I love my life, independence, business, and family. The state should not be able to take those away.

Donna: “I am a bandleader and work with 20 different musicians through the course of the year. Some I will use once some 15-20 times. The costs of making them employees, work comp, payroll costs etc. will put me out of business.”

Susan: “I am a tax preparer. I prepare corporate and partnership returns for mostly entertainment clients. If they are forced to become employees of the studios, I lose my business. I’ve had some of my clients for 30 years.”

Micaela: “Translation business-owner here. I have the option to contract translators elsewhere. But I would rather be able to continue contracting with excellent CA-based translators. AB5 brings a lot of uncertainty. Without an exception, we may be forced to contract outside CA.”

Mayan: “Please understand that my mother, a translator and interpreter for over 30 years, will no longer be allowed to speak for immigrants in the court system because of AB 5.

Alexis: “Please fix AB 5 so that I may continue to put food on my table as I struggle to rebuild my home in Paradise. Still displaced after the Camp Fire.”

Andi: “Just lost my ability to earn a living because of California Assembly Bill 5. My freelance brokerage company says they have to let California authors go. Almost a decade of hard work gone in an instant. I can’t stop crying. Right before Christmas.

Rebecca: “Today, along with literally HUNDREDS of my colleagues, I was told that I can no longer hold a paid position at SB Nation. California, you’re breaking my heart (and taking my money).

Krista Genzlinger: “I am an independent contractor, i.e. business owner; I am self-employed. I would not be able to work in any capacity, other than self-employed. This method of earning income for myself is built on my ability to control the hours in my day, when I do my work, and how I do my work. The amount that I earn, which is a great deal more than minimum wage, is dependent on the rates that I am able to set for myself for the services that I provide. As an independent contractor I am more productive, I have honed my skills more in the last five years than in the entirety of the previous 22 years while working as a full-time employee.”

Jessica Fantz: “As a former independent contractor (a web designer) – I am one of a number of professionals who have valued the benefits of being classified as an independent contractor – flexibility in hours and schedule, ability to take or decline assignments without fear of being terminated, ability to have multiple clients at a time – or not – to ensure income stability, a separation from traditional employer-employee status which enables more independence and enables a stronger bargaining position. I recently took a full time position, in part out of fear of these impending laws which rely on a strict ABC test impacting my ability to earn a living as they have done in California. I have seen many proposals for alternatives to forcing those who wish to remain independent into a traditional definition of employee, and these are worth considering. The government MUST recognize that for many people, that relationship is actually NOT beneficial. The structure of the work force has been changing, and tax and employment laws must adapt as well.”

Jackie Hyman: “I am an author, news reporter and editor, and writing teacher who has been working as an independent contractor in California for more than thirty years. Please do not make the same mistakes as my state’s horrendous AB5. I am 71 years old and cannot (and will not) take regular employment. Earning an income from my home is safer, more effective and more satisfying for me. Please respect my wishes and those of my fellow creatives to forge our own path and create our own contractual relationships. Thank you.

Amy LaMarra: “My name is Amy LaMarra and I am a small business owner residing and conducting business in Los Angeles, CA. I would like to express my support for clarification of and preservation of freelance workers in my state, as our new AB5 law in CA has created confusion, would force at least some of my contractors to become my employees…

Since learning of the AB-5 law, I have been reading and re-reading the bill, attempting to understand exactly what I will need to do to comply. Unfortunately, it doesnt look like my current set-up will be acceptable and all my workers will likely be affected. If I can’t continue to contract with them, I will likely have to find a small manufacturer to do the work, possibly not even within the US. I would much rather continue to use local help and I appreciate very much that labor department seems to understand the nuances involved in contract work.”

George Mahn: “As a composer and producer in music and film production, working independently empowers me to choose projects that align with both my personal disposition and itinerary. I traded corporate management years ago for professional autonomy, partly to pursue creative interests and partly to establish my own business culture. Regulations and legislation ought to be enacted and interpreted in ways that preserve and advance options for independent contractors.

Debbie Kaplan: “I am a small business owner who provides writing services to publications and companies. As a work-at-home mom, I ramped up my business to coincide with the time I had available while raising my kids. I worked during their nap times, and then added more hours as they went to school. Even before the pandemic, I was there when they came home from school, to help with homework, drive them to activities, and hear about their days. As we’re seeing in the pandemic, that flexibility is everything. I value my independent contractor status as it gives me the freedom to work when I want, for whom I want, and on my own terms.

Paul Anderson: “It’s my desire to be able to continue as a independent contractor for Uber.”

Hawa Wleh: “I’m a single mom, I love working for Uber because you make your own schedule. Just thank God for Uber, because of Uber I get to spend time with my daughter and my Family.”

Jose Garcia: “The reason why I drive for Uber is the flexibility of schedule that I have with them.”

Lorri: “Independent court and deposition reporters! We freelance for several firms, set our own schedule, don’t need benefits. Want to stay independent!

Claire: “I am a translator and work as an independent contractor for many years, for only one company. I was told by email 20 days ago that I won’t be able to work for them anymore, starting in January. It’s my only income and I love what I do.

Nancy: “I’m a pharmacist who’s lost my position as an IC who performs inspections of pharmacies across the country for compliance to standards of safe practices in nonsterile and sterile compounding.

Kathleen: “My work as an independent is threatened, I am retired but like to supplement my income by picking up a few jobs during the year.”

Elizabeth: “As a mobile Notary Signing Agent, I am in limbo with this disastrous law.”

Travis: “I am an independent contractor working in the film and television industry who’s had plenty of sleepless nights worrying about the future of my business. If AB 5 is not overturned, I don’t believe small service businesses such as mine have a future in this state.”

Jennifer: “I am a freelance Spanish interpreter and have been certified since 2012. AB 5 will dismantle our industry’s decades-old, proven independent contractor model and force us to adopt an unsustainable alternative which will drive many language professionals to leave our thriving careers and deprive limited English proficient individuals of their right to receive services in their primary language.”

Marsha“I lost my job of 12 years as a medical transcriptionist because of AB5. Many in this profession value the flexibility in hours and working from home more than employee status. Now I have no money at all.”

Kirk: “After 27 years in construction trucking, own a home, raised 2 boys, own $250,000 worth of CARB LEGAL equipment. AB 5 will put me out of business!”

Laura: “This hurts the Deaf community because of the complications in hiring and retaining qualified sign language interpreters.”

Connie: “Please understand that my mother, a translator and interpreter for over 30 years, will no longer be allowed to speak for immigrants in the court system because of AB 5.”

Austin: “I am a full-time employee at a corporation in California, but I work as a freelance writer on the side for supplemental income. I enjoy my job as a writer, and I am very grateful of the publication I produce content for, as they have allowed me to maintain a flexible schedule and have afforded me the opportunity to be paid to do something I love. After learning about how AB 5 will not only affect my livelihood, but that of hundreds of thousands of other Californians, it makes me sick to my stomach.”

Susan: “I have been an independent contractor working as a court reporter for over 30 years. The opportunity to be an employee has always been available to me, but I chose freelancing because it afforded me the opportunity to put my family first, before my job.”

Julie: “I am an American Sign Language interpreter for the Deaf a majority of the work we do is as independent contractors since many locations only need our services occasionally. There is already a scarcity of qualified interpreters. This bill makes getting assignments covered even more difficult which means more Deaf people will be left without communication access.”

Whitson: “I cannot begin to explain the stress this has put on me and my family. I know there are no guarantees in this business. I could lose clients to layoffs, or to a recession. But I never thought the government would just take work away from me arbitrarily.”

Mallory: “I have been a professional journalist since 2005. I have worked full-time and freelanced for a significant amount of years in my career. Most recently, I was laid off from a full-time editor position Bustle in November and due to AB-5, many of the publications that were initially interested in me freelancing for them stopped being interested.”

Anthony: “I currently serve the courts as a certified Interpreter (Independent Contractor). Interpreters were among the list of “losers” who did not get an exemption from AB5 and as a consequence, we are all in a state of chaos, knowing that the law makes it impossible for us to resume doing our work.”

Katherine: “I am an online English teacher hired as an independent contractor…In no way shape or form does it benefit me, in actuality it is detrimental to my financial well being.”

John: “I have been a freelancer for 35 years and am in several areas of work, some of which are adversely affected by AB5. I’ve had as many as 15 1099s in some years – it’ll be impossible to have that many W-2s and I’ll not be able to deduct business expenses”

Jan: “I’m an older woman with two teaching credentials living in a small county who cannot find employment outside of independent contractor online teaching jobs. One company has already announced they will no longer contract with California teachers. I care for a disabled husband. I will lose my home if I cannot work for these companies.”

Maria: “I won’t be able to work as an American Sign Language interpreter. I work freelance and I have now been removed from all agencies I worked for in my capacity as interpreter.”

Stephanie: “AB 5 is detrimental to the well being of my Deaf clients as well as my right to earn a living the way I want to. I’m losing so much work because agencies can’t afford to keep all of their sign language interpreters on as employees.”

Kelly: “I’m a freelance writer supporting myself and a family in Los Angeles, and AB5 directly impacts how I can do that, as well as thousands of my colleagues.”

Michael: “With this law, I’d never have been able to make the short films I have in the past. For aspiring filmmakers trying to break in, this is death.”

Claudia: “I’m a freelance language professional (translator) and my corporate clients are dropping my translation services starting this month.”

Jay: “I have been a PR/Marketing Communications freelancer since 1992 and this legislation greatly impacts my ability to work.”

Hope: “This bill will devastate the services the Deaf community receive. Almost all the American Sign Language Interpreters that work in the community are Independent Contractors. We get the bulk of our work through agencies that work like clearing houses that send out the work. We set our pay and take the work if we want or don’t want.”

Ernie: “I’m retired and at age 75 the freelance writing I do for several publications is an important supplemental income source for me and my family. I’m good at what I do and produce abut 200 articles a year. Yesterday I was notified that my work is being cut in half and I am losing one column entirely because I submit more than the arbitrary 35 to that publication.”

Connie“The AB 5 law has now taken away my limited options for employment . I am not medically cleared to return to the workforce, I have problems standing and walking which severely impact my ability to find employment. My company as well as many other online teaching companies are now choosing to not work with California teachers. I have a bachelors degree as well as a teaching credential I am not a victim, I choose to work as an independent contractor because it is what suits my life best at this moment. AB 5 is taking away my choices and my livelihood away. I tried to apply to other companies and was told that they can no longer work with Californians, as of January 1, 2020 I will be unemployed and stand a chance of losing everything I have and becoming homeless because of this new law.”

Jessica“I am an independent contractor for a company based in China. They recently announced they are no longer partnering with new California independent contractors. The current CA contractors are feeling like our jobs are in jeopardy.”

Andrea“I’m a freelance writer who writes dozens of pieces for various clients each month. I did my writing through a content mill, which has now blocked California writers from communicating with any new clients and is limiting us to 34 articles per year for the clients we already had. For perspective, I often wrote more than 34 articles per MONTH for ONE of my clients alone. I’m now losing these clients, many of whom I’ve worked with for years. I was incredibly happy with my work life prior to AB 5. I made enough money to satisfy my needs, and I was able to work when I wanted and take time off when I wanted, something I needed due to my chronic health problems.

Willow“I am a freelance writer and filmmaker, and AB5 directly impacts my ability to work, and my ability to hire film crew members!”

Linda: “I have successfully been freelancing for over 20 years. My job has allowed me to care for my mother and raise my son. This legislation now has the potential to destroy my writing business and the businesses of many of my colleagues.”

Nicole“I am a professional in the photography and video industry. This bill is already costing me work as advertising agencies and clients are choosing to shoot out of state and hire non-Californians. I hold a degree in film production and have spent my entire career building a list of clients so that I can remain flexible to take care of my family and spend time with my husband who is a first responder.”

Amy“I’m a freelance writer who’s worked for a decade at my craft. AB 5 has essentially left me without any work.”

Richard“Musician. Multiple venues stating they’re worried about hiring live entertainment until the details regarding AB5 are ‘sorted out’.”

Hsiao-Yu: “Software engineer contractor was my previous job and I loved it. Now AB 5 took it away.”

Catherine“It takes away job flexibility for my sons to work while they are in college.”

Katherine: “I am independent contractor for multiple companies and have been for over 6 years. This allowed me to be at home to care for my elderly parents. Because companies would rather err on the side of caution and not deal with the headache I’m backed into a corner and going to have to take a job outside of the home again and just hope nothing happens to them while I’m 40+ hours a week!”

Wendy: “As a freelance journalist, this bill is devastating to me and my ability to earn enough money to support myself.”

Jennifer: “I own and run a very small business as a postpartum doula and Lactation educator and I enjoy being independent and autonomous. AB 5 limits me if I need/want to hire people as my business grows.”

Ryan: “I am the owner of a pediatric therapy company. We provide work to approximately 40 ICs who want to see a few clients in addition to their full time jobs. This law would force me to let go of all 40 ICs as I cannot afford to pay them.”

Karen: “I am currently working as a freelance food delivery driver and if this bad law is not appealed, then I would lose my livelihood and trying to find a good paying job at the age of 54 is nearly impossible due to age discrimination.”

Carla: “As a stay at home mother of three I rely on being an independent contractor and working from home. AB 5 hurts my family, it takes food off our tables and necessities for my children.”

Janet: “There is no way my clients are going to hire me as an employee to work on sporadic projects during the year, so I will lose the ability to augment my social security and I’m not eligible for SNAP benefits. I’m 67 years old, on Social Security and if I can’t find a full time job at this point, I can’t pay the rent and eat!”

Walter: “I am an actor, singer, and storyteller, active throughout San Diego County. AB 5 is impacting my ability to work.”

Rachel: “I am a freelance musician and teacher living in Los Angeles. Much of my performance income is non-Union and I am hired to perform for each organization maybe once or twice a year. I am very concerned that my performance income will dry up, given the vast majority of arts organizations will not be able to comply with AB5 and make musicians employees, nor does that make any sense given the business model.”

Rebekah: “I am a Pediatric Occupational Therapist with 23 years of experience in my field. Since starting a family, I have enjoyed the flexibility of working as a private contractor. Because of AB 5, this is no longer possible.”

Christine: “I’ve already lost two writing jobs and I’m on the verge of losing a third. I will have no income source. I’ve lived in California my entire life, but am considering moving to Nevada.”

Gail: “I am a sign language interpreter and have worked self employed for almost 20 years. This impacts my livelihood by not letting agencies give me work.”

Nicolas: “I am a freelance musician. Some of the theater companies I work for are either cancelling shows or having to make some adjustments that are not sustainable in the long run.”

Scott: “AB 5, within a week of it’s implementation, has already destroyed countless jobs in CA. As a music professional it has the potential to put me out of business and decimate my industry.”

Marina: “I’m a certified court interpreter. I have been freelancing for 15 years and very happy doing that. What I like about freelancing is that I only work for the good agencies (that pay well), I can work as much or as little as I want to spend time with my 3 year old. This law is destroying my wonderful work/life combo.”

Robin: “My husband and I are both freelance professionals. Both of us have taken a huge financial hit. We have 3 children to provide for.”

George: “I’m a self-employed freelance composer working from home, making just barely enough to survive. On occasion I will hire musicians to come in and do recording, doesn’t make sense to have them be an employee if I only hire them for a few hours at a time.”

Marisa: “I just moved to California from the east coast. I work in film/media production, and Los Angeles is a “gig based” economy particularly in the film industry! I can’t find regular work now as I was already making near minimum wage as a Production Assistant (though I’m not struggling to pay rent by any means, as with typical overtime the pay levels out well). Positioning myself as an S-corp or LLC to jump through hoops for this law will cost more than it would benefit me. I’m now forced to look for full-time jobs (which are scarce!) just to avoid dealing with AB 5.”

Julia: “I am a freelance writer based in L.A. A couple years ago, I started freelancing – a change that allowed me to work from my own home, on my own hours, and own schedule. I now write for multiple publications and companies and, for the first time, feel in control of my mental health and livelihood. AB 5 threatens this and the thought of giving up my business devastates me. My work means everything to me. It is not a question – if AB5 were to take my work away, I’d have to move. It simply would not be an option to stay here.”

Nikki: “I’m a freelance musician and a realtor. I’m 90% self employed. ALL of my freelance work is independently contracted and I have over 30+ clients and vendors (annually) who I provide services for. THIS LAW DOES NOT HELP ME. In turn, it actually makes it very difficult for me to do any sort of work for these 30+ clients without them having to provide benefits for me.”

Deborah: “I’m a 67-year-old grandmother living on Social Security. Up until Jan 1st I was also an online transcriptionist earning approx $200 a month in much needed additional income. I love the work and it is a perfect fit for work-from-home situations, however due to AB 5, California residents were dropped by the world-wide company I was working for.”

Ryland: With the implementation of AB5, I, as a musician, producer, and contractor, will not be hiring anyone this year so long as AB5 is in effect. I cannot afford the added expenses. Additionally, several companies I work for l are struggling to determine how to remain afloat as they are service based and do not bring in hefty profits beyond what the team members are paid.”

Jessica: “As a freelance court reporter, I choose when to work, what jobs to take, and how to transcribe testimony. I do not want to be an employee. As a new mom I can tell agencies that I only want afternoon work or only morning work, or that I only want to work on Tuesdays and Thursdays. As an employee, I would not get to pick a schedule that works for me.”

Nelly: “As a Single mom of 3, I depend on all my freelance work that I get medical interpreting to help meet ends. I make just enough to cover all my bills.”

Paul: “I’ve been a freelance writer and editor for 25 years. Working freelance has allowed me to raise my daughter from the day she came home from the hospital to the present (she’s 10), pick and choose both the work I do and the hours and days I do it, and work with incredible employers who have (with very few exceptions) ALWAYS had my best interests at heart. AB5 will force me to leave jobs that I’ve held for over a decade and join a growing pool of other freelancers who are grabbing at the few freelance jobs that will be left for us.”

Marlene: “AB 5 has impacted my life. I am self employed by choice. I do not want to be an employee nor do I want to lose my tax exemptions as a company. I should not be forced into employment relationships with my clients, most of which will not hire me anymore if they are forced to become my employers. This law will destroy my business.”

Tracy“I am an ASL interpreter and work for several agencies. By being able to work for different agencies I can meet the needs of the Deaf community . With this bill I would no longer be able to work as I do and the Deaf community would suffer.”

Susan: “As a freelance court reporter, AB 5 has upended my career. I have been working as an independent contractor since January of 1992. I WANT to be an independent contractor. In any given year, I can work with 10, 15, 20, even 30 different agencies to help cover calendar. Some I may only work for once. Some a handful of times. I do not want to be an employee of any of the agencies. I want to set my own hours, what depositions I choose to report, where I choose to work.”

Vivien: “I am a freelance press photographer. The 35 submission cap silences me.”

Lorraine: “I may be losing my job as an independent contractor doing transcribing for almost 30 years. AB5 is life-destroying.”

Elizabeth: “I am a Certified Shorthand Reporter in the State I’d California who will be adversely affected by AB5. As a licensed professional, I do not want or need to be classified as an employee since I work for many agencies reporting depositions and court hearings and can set my own rates and job schedule.”

Kristen: “I am a freelance sign language interpreter. AB5 only hurts my profession by not allowing us the flexibility we need to be able to create and manage our own schedules to accept the jobs we need and are qualified for. We do not wish to work as employees nor will that structure fit how our career operates. It will likely drive up service costs while we are paid less which will hurts thousands of Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals who will not be able to get adequate services or any services at all. We could be pushed out of state to even find adequate work which will worsen the issue that we don’t have enough qualified interpreters to fill all areas of need.”

Lisa: “I am a Certified Shorthand Reporter. For my whole career, 24 years, I’ve been an independent contractor. I love being independent. I accept/decline work as it fits into my life and my family’s life.”

Sylvia: “I am an independent musician, and I run the Non-profit community orchestra, Southland Symphony. We are attempting to shift to a model to comply, but there is a very real chance that we will not be able to sustain our operation with these new costs and requirements. We provide music for our community, provide free admission to our concerts for those who cannot afford tickets, perform for several city events each year, and more. But we may not be able to continue unless this bill is repealed.”

John: “I’m a freelance composer in the film industry and consistently employ musicians throughout the year, in addition to my own freelance employment. If this comes down as onerous as it appears to be, I will have not choice but to leave the state I was born and raised in and/or increase my employment of oversea musicians and out of state musicians.”

Danielle: “I am a freelance court reporter in California. We are not part of the gig economy. We are highly trained and skilled and work for various court reporting firms, law firms and courthouses. We make our own schedule and accept the work we choose. We are no way employees with the many firms we work for. Classifying freelance court reporters as employees will affect our livelihood in a negative way.”

Jamie: “I am a freelance licensed stenographer/court reporter licensed by the state of California. AB5 will impact my livelihood in so many ways. I choose to be an independent contractor.”

Jennifer: “I have been a self employed sign language interpreter for 40 years. If I have to follow AB 5, I wouldn’t been able to work anymore, since I’m getting close to retirement age. I love my work, I love choosing my own schedule, and interpreters are in high demand.”

Tricia: “I am a freelance court reporter, licensed by the State of California. I have been an independent contractor for 25 years, business license issued by City of San Diego. My clients are reporting agencies. I choose my assignments, negotiate my own rates, provide my own equipment, set my own schedule, and invoice over 30 clients (agencies) a year. I am now being told by my clients that they cannot do business with me unless I incorporate. I am a sole proprietor and have decided a corporation is not best for me, but I will be driven into bankruptcy if I don’t.”

Candi: “I have two children to support and AB 5 would be financially detrimental for my family. The ability to be an independent and name my own rates has allowed me to make ends meet to support my family.”

Michele Ann: “I have spent most of my adult life creating a career as a freelance writer. I have non-traditional skills that would prevent me from being hired by a newspaper but I have a longterm newspaper client for just this reason, I have skills staff writers do not have. If I were to lose this gig (about 110 articles a year), everything, including my ability to write books (I’ve written 24 so far) would fall apart.”

Colleen: “I am a court reporter in California that does depositions. I do work for many different firms. Two firms have already notified me that they can no longer give me work. I am the one who supports my family, and I have been doing this work for over 30 years. I’m not sure what to do now…”

Calista: “I am a terminal manager for a transportation company that leases owner operators to transport mobile offices and manufactured homes. Due to this law, the company I work for will be closing my terminal and canceling the California based owner operators leases. “

Lee: “My wife and I are independent insurance adjusters. AB5 is having huge and negative impacts on our profession. “

Jennifer: I am a freelance American Sign Language interpreter, and the only way for our industry to successfully deliver quality interpretation and translation services to members of the deaf community is to allow our long-standing business structure to remain intact. AB5 would cause serious harm to the provision of interpretation and translation services to deaf individuals.

Orson: “I am an operatic tenor and artist. The implementation of this law would greatly affect my ability to bring awareness and inspiration to the communities at large.”

Josh: “(AB5) is devastating for opera singers in California. I hire hundreds of singers and musicians per year, and this bill may cut that number in half, or force us to close all together.”

Amy: “I am an independent contractor physical therapist by choice so that I can work part time and care for my child. Please repeal AB5 because it will take a lot of moms out of the work force.”

Kaitlyn: “Having recently moved to California, I’ve been relying heavily on freelance writing as a source of income. With the passing of AB5, I have just been locked out of my freelance writing platforms, and am left to scramble to find other means to pay my bills. “

Rosemary: “I am a freelance Sign Language interpreter with a very specialized skill set that I have worked many years to develop. AB5 hinders my ability to meet a specific language need in the deaf community by blocking agencies from hiring me when and as needed.”

Haana: “I am a music producer and it unnecessarily complicates every aspect of my business currently as a sole proprietor.  This bill will be the death of the music industry in CA.”

Coleen: “As an independent freelance Certified Shorthand Reporter (CSR), AB5 is going to put me and the firms I work for out of business.  We as freelance CSRs have always been independent contractors.  It allows us to have a flexible schedule, to work for multiple agencies when we want to, so we have time for our family and other commitments.  “

Andrew: “As a nurse anesthesiologist, I have found AB5 to limit my ability to have multiple contracts and affect my business negatively. Those I contract with no longer feel safe offering a 1099 contract to me; however, neither of us are interested in a W2. This inhibits my ability to be competitive in the field. “

Angel: “This law will negatively effect my ability to manage my business.  All of my contractors work for me about 2 hours out of each month, there is no way I can keep up with the amount of paperwork in turning them into employees.  This law will ruin my business.”

Kerry: “I have been working as a freelance court reporter since 1999.  I also do transcription and scoping works.  I should be able to continue the career I have established for the last 21 years.”

Joe: “I am a freelancer. Freelancing has been necessary for me in California to make ends meet and support my family. Having read the text of (AB5), I fear it will be too difficult to find companies who are willing to utilize my services. I may be unable to continue working with some of my current clients. “

Lourdes: “I am an independent freelance court reporter who loves being able to work whenever I choose. As a mother of two very young children, this bill will definitely impact my livelihood on being able to provide for my family. “

Sandy: “I’m a self employed musician, bandleader and instructor. If I have to do payroll for my band members, it will most likely make it unfeasible to continue to do work as a musician. “

Misti: “Due to the passing of AB5, I had to quit working as a licensed massage therapist. Being an independent contractor at a chiropractors office, I do not have the money to be setting up a business right now. “

Alicia: “I just got my first notice that because of AB5 I won’t be paid for a big comedy show I’m promoting – but I have to do the show anyway in order to get more shows.  This could cripple my performing career.”

Renee: “The last few months have been an emotional roller coaster because of AB5.  As a small business in the entertainment transcription and translation field I’ve utilized the skills of local transcription specialists.  It pained me to tell my California transcribers that I could no longer work with them.  The law is causing chaos, grief, fear and anger in the CA freelance community.”

Lynn: “I am a transcriptionist.  I work from home and I love it.  Just recently, without notice, the companies I work for were forced to cut off all their California workers.  They are still operating, because they have transcriptionists all over the world working for them.  But those of us in California just lost our livelihood.”

Rene: “I am a freelance certified stenographer.  I’ve been working as an independent contractor for over 30 years.  This is the only way deposition reporters can operate and be viewed as independent, non-biased parties in litigation.”

Andi: “As a highly skilled and educated freelancer, this law adversely impacts my ability to provide for my family.  My work as a freelancer allows me to homeschool and contribute to my household financially.  This law greatly impacts us and as a result, I am considering a move out of my native state so that we may continue to provide for our family.”

Gwen: “I have been a freelance certified stenographer since 1986.  I work for as many as 15-20 different agencies in any given year reporting pre-trial depositions.  I am trained for nothing else.  It would be devastating for me.  I would not be able to be an employee because that would mean I was not impartial, which a court stenographer absolutely must be.  The burden it would be on the legal industry needs to be considered as well as the harm to all freelance reporters working in the state.”

Elisabeth: “I am an independent, reporter-owned court reporting business and working freelance reporter.  This AB5 is killing my business.”

Kathryn: “I am (was) a transcriber working from home.  I am a senior citizen living on a very small fixed income and absolutely need the little bit of money I earned as an independent contractor.  AB5 has devastated my life.  I don’t know how I will be able to pay my bills and afford to live.”

Jennifer: “I am a freelance Spanish interpreter and choose to be independent. I contract with about 40 Language Services Companies each year, subcontract from 10 to 15 colleagues and have a handful of direct clients. I have already received a couple new contracts from the Language Services Companies with indemnity sections that place the burden for enforcement of AB5 on the individual interpreters. If I refuse to sign these contracts, I will lose out on an estimated $8,000 of income in 2020. AB5 will dismantle our industry’s decades-old, proven independent contractor model and force us to adopt an unsustainable alternative which will drive many language professionals to leave our thriving career. “

Cindy: “I have been a sign language interpreter for 30 years. I have been self-employed for 25 of those years. If AB5 is not repealed, it will seriously affect my income in a negative way. As a self-employed person I control how much I charge per hour and hopw many hours I work on any given day. AB5 will take away the freedom that I have had for 25 years to live and work in a way that works for me. “

Marianne: “As a freelance reporter, I do not work with one firm exclusively due to where I reside. I need to work with multiple court reporting firms all over the state. If AB5 is not repealed, there will be many freelance court reporters who will retire. “

Julia: “I am a translator and certified interpreter for State and Federal Courts, and have been an independent contractor in California for almost 30 years. Some of my clients retain my services only a few times per year. We provide a professional and fundamental service to our community. Far from protecting us, AB5 is the reason many interpreters and translators already started losing their jobs.”

Kyle: “I am a freelance writer working for a number of publications. AB5 would absolutely gut my work load, cutting my pay by 70% and leaving me unable to pay bills to support my family. “

Jeffrey: “I’ve been doing writing and editing work as a remote-working independent contractor for nearly three years now. In anticipation of AB5, my employer stopped renewing the contracts of California workers. I haven’t been able to find work since then. “

Jayson: “I’m an independent owner operator in the trucking industry. With the passage of AB5, my 25 years worth of work will be destroyed. “

Michelle: “I am a nail technician renting a space in a very tiny hair salon. I am my sole provider and this bill will put me out of business. “

Joshua: “I am a freelance musician who will be severely affected by this bill. If clubs and restaurants are hit with the extra expenses of making every musician they hire “employees,” they will simply opt for strictly pre-recorded music. Essentially, creatives will be completely squeezed out of the California economy. “

Steven: “I am a freelance musician. If left as-is, this bill will be the death blow to my career, my colleague’s careers, and my industry.”

Cris: “I am a freelance sign language interpreter. To force interpreters to become employees is to endanger their livelihood and self determination, and also endangers the availability of interpreters for the deaf community. “

Elizabeth: “I have a disability which makes flexible hours essential to my ability to earn income.  My health has improved when I can freelance more and get out of the set schedule and being in an office.  Now the one thing I can predictably and successfully earn income with is disappearing.  This law is hurting all of us who need to work flexible and irregular schedules for all kinds of family and health reasons.”

Jeff: “I am a picture editor in the entertainment industry.  The amount of companies that now deny loan out services has grown and it is affecting earnings.”

Stacy: “I am a consumer who has had the cost of AB5 passed onto me. I take music lessons. The music company that provides the lessons through the use of independent contractors has passed their costs of having to hire these independent contractors as employees onto me. The cost of my lessons has increased as a result of AB5, I may have to cancel them. “

Kate: “I have a social media management business and am at a point where I no longer do all the work myself. I have 4 clients and am already burning out physically and mentally. However, I need to take on more clients in order to make a livable income. Without contractors helping me, I will not be able to do so. My business will suffer and so will my ability to make enough money to pay my bills because i cannot afford to hire them as employees. “

Shonna: “I had to close my company of 10 years due to the AB5 law! It has destroyed my finances, and I had to lay off 20 people. It is very difficult to keep up a small business for many people at this point. “

Ernie: “I have been a columnist for several publications. When AB5 was adopted my workload was essentially cut in half. I lost one column entirely and was cut back to 35 annually on a second for one publication. For a second publication, my work was cut to 35. This has been a significant loss of income for me.”

David: “I’m a journalist and seven-time published author. I freelance as a means to supplement my income and feed my family, but now I can’t contribute to my own blog and I’m missing out on $1,000 per month.”

Dave: “Until AB5 erased my income, I was a successful freelance writer. Several of my largest and most lucrative clients stopped working with me on January 1, causing my income to plummet.”

Ryan: “I’m an entertainer who performs mostly at private events. When I am already booked, I send out 2 other people to perform. I signed contracts with clients and took deposits back in 2018-19 for shows in 2020. The budgets were set. Now having to pay for workers comp, payroll taxes, accountants, payroll company, sick days, I stand to lose $89,000 in 2020.”

Esther: “I am a freelance interpreter, I help people who do not speak English communicate with their medical providers. I am a proud senior, capable of being independent and self sufficient. AB5 leaves me out of work. “

Anne: “Since being laid off in 2016, I’ve managed to build a steady stream of income through freelance writing and consulting. Because I don’t have to commute, I am more productive and earn more. I’m also grateful for the flexibility to work while still being able to spend plenty of time with my young child. Due to the high cost of child care, I cannot afford to take a full-time job—but working for myself has made it possible for me to be a good worker and a good parent. However, due to AB5, I’m at risk of losing my main client and only consistent and predictable source of income. Many companies are simply choosing not to work with California freelancers, instead abandoning long-standing professional relationships only because of AB5. The ripple effects of AB5 mean lost wages and lost opportunity not just for freelancers, but for the fellow workers we employ. If I lose my clients, my husband and I will no longer be able to afford our home. “

Connie: “I am a transcriptionist. All the transcription work is now going out of state. No transcription company in California will use us, and the transcription companies out of state won’t use us. We are out of work because of AB5.”

John: “I am a guest orchestral conductor. I depend on my contractor status to maintain sustainable fees, while not fleecing orchestras. Because of this bill, I just lost my first scheduled job with an orchestra – $9000 that would have put a dent in my student loans, or helped pay my insurance, or paid for food and shelter is now gone – all because of AB5.”

Angel: “I run a small entertainment company and use about 300 contractors through the course of the year. Some I will use once some 15-20 times. The costs of making them employees, work comp, payroll costs etc. will put me out of business.”

Janet: “As an independent songwriter, AB5 gravely endangers my ability to earn a living.”

Aedan: “I’m a 27 year old freelance writer and my heart is broken. As is, full-time positions within media companies are a rarity — and now the two that I primarily do freelance contributions for have let me go because of AB5. This not only has stripped me of an opportunity to pursue my passion and make some semblance of money from it, but it’s extremely disheartening to those who pay their bills (and taxes).”

Angelica: “I became a certified interpreter just last year. Finding agencies is hard and now the few I know are asking me to become incorporated, until I get a business license/corporation, I cannot work. I haven’t worked as an interpreter so far in January. My bills are starting to add up.”

Stephanie: “I am an American Sign Language Interpreter who has already lost work after AB5 was passed. Many agencies that I contract with cannot afford to make us all employees so my contracts were terminated. I chose this profession knowing that the majority of my work would be as an independent contractor and I was okay with that. Now, after 10-plus years in the field, I don’t have any say in what jobs I take because there aren’t any for me to choose from. What’s worse is my Deaf clientele won’t have as many interpreters to choose from and there are already not enough of us in this field.”

Myrna: “I started working with a company doing remote dental billing in January of 2018 to supplement my Social Security check. I am 66 and I really loved staying home and doing my job in the field that I’m good at. Now I am told I have to get an LLC which I cannot afford to keep being an independent contractor with them. So I have lost my job and my income that was helping me stay in my home and on my feet.”

Eddie: “As a freelance musician and sound engineer, I am hired by various groups for either or both of my professional services. None of which am I an employee nor should I be because there is no guaranteed 40 hours of work per work or otherwise. Moreover, my wife and I have adapted our lives, especially in regards to our children, to not have to pay much in babysitting because my flexible schedule allows me to work when I want and be home when I want. Becoming an employee somewhere would do far more bad than good for us.”

Jessica: “I have been an American Sign Language interpreter for the deaf for half my life. Many agencies I work with are letting go of all ties with ICs and hiring a skeleton crew of employees to cover some of their work. Others are shutting down. I am now down to very, very few options to feed my family. From someone who has worked full time my entire career, I’ll be very lucky if I can work even part time now. “

Ellen: “I am a Dance Teacher and Choreographer working in several different schools and community centers, with contracts that last generally between six weeks and three months. AB5 will kill my livelihood of more than 30 years.”

Charles: “For the past three years, I’ve worked as a freelance writer producing translations for one client and copywriting for dozens of clients through a referral service. As a result of AB5, I’ve been reduced to 34 submissions a year from well over 700 by the referral service, which is about 60% of my income.”