California Chaos

New Jersey’s S863 (formerly S4204/A5936) is a version of California’s AB5, which took effect January 1, 2020. They both have the 1930s ABC Test for labor law at their core.

Numerous federal lawsuits have been filed against the State of California, arguing that its version of the law violates Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution (contracts), as well as the 1st Amendment (free speech), 9th Amendment (rights retained by the people) and 14th Amendment (equal protection under the law). Those lawsuits are still winding their way through the federal courts.

Proponents of these laws continue to insist that they will force Big Tech corporations such as Uber to “protect” workers by making them all employees instead of independent contractors. That has not happened since the law went into effect January 1, 2020. To the contrary, the law nearly led companies such as Uber to shut down operations in the state entirely, cutting off the workers’ access to income in the middle of an economic recession.

Proposition 22 was on the November 2020 ballot in California to exempt companies like Uber from the law entirely, and voters passed the proposition by a 59% to 41% margin. Prop 22 had the support of the California NAACP, Black Chamber of Commerce, National Action Network, League of United Latin American Citizens, California Police Chiefs Association, California State Sheriffs’ Association, California Small Business Association and many others. Former CEO of the national NAACP Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. said the law that Prop 22 gutted was “racist” and “regressive.”

And, the dramatically overreaching law has harmed or outright destroyed careers in more than 300 professions identified so far. The articles below are about just some of the chaos happening across all kinds of industries in California right now.

California’s AB5 Is Such A Mess, ‘Pandemic Pods’ Might Not Even Be Safe,” published by The Federalist

“California’s AB5 Holding Back Recovery Nationally,” published by the Competitive Enterprise Institute

“Family businesses may be lost without more fixes to Assembly Bill 5,” published by the Los Angeles Daily News

“Deaf community wants sign language interpreters to remain independent,” published by ABC30 in Fresno

“Amendment to clean-up bill for AB5 needed to protect professional translators and interpreters,” published by the Lake County Record-Bee

“Financial Issues With Hiring Tutors During Distance Learning,” published by NBC7 in San Diego

“Another Fight to Save Your Newspaper,” published by The Willits News

“Superintendents Are Bracing for AB 5’s Impact in Schools,” published by Voice of San Diego

“Caddies at a Crossroads: How a new law is shaking the foundations of California’s looper culture,” published by

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“AB 5 Limits Access to Healthcare for Californians,” by the California Association of Nurse Anesthetists

“Will California’s AB5 Law Gag Your Gig Retirement?” published by Forbes

“Lake Tahoe Music Festival calling it a “wrap” after this summer; blames AB-5,” published by Sierra Foothills Report

“New freelance law AB5 illustrates what’s wrong with the Democratic super-majority in Sacramento,” published by the Los Angeles Times

“California’s AB5 Leaves Women Business Owners Reeling,” published by Forbes

“California Truckers Can Bypass New Contractor Law, Judge Rules,” published by Bloomberg Law

“California Wanted to Protect Uber Drivers. Now It May Hurt Freelancers,” published by The New York Times

“The Worst California Law Of 2019—Eliminating Millions Of Independent Contractors,” published by The Hoover Institute at Stanford University

“Freelance journalists fight for their livelihoods against Assembly Bill 5,” published by the Orange County Register

“California’s new employment law has boomeranged and is starting to crush freelancers,” published by CNBC

“Another California Job Buster,” published by The Wall Street Journal

“Assemblywoman Gonzalez, Other Lawmakers Begin To Rethink Certain Parts of AB 5,” published by the California Globe

“San Diego based cartoonist prepares to lose business in 2020 as a result of AB 5,” published by KUSI-San Diego

“It Isn’t Just Uber: California Prepares for New Gig Worker Rules…and Confusion,” published by The Wall Street Journal

“Vox Media to cut hundreds of freelance jobs ahead of changes in California gig economy laws,” published by CNBC

“Freelance Journalists Sue California Ahead of Gig Worker Law,” published by The Hollywood Reporter

Uber sues California to block gig-worker law,” published by CNET

“Publishers Brace for California Labor Law Changes,” published by Publishers Weekly

“Publishers prepare for new California law that puts limits on freelance journalists,” published by CNN Business

“New California law redefines who gets employment benefits. The lawsuits are just starting,” published by the Modesto Bee

“California is attempting a massive labor experiment that could grow into a disaster for millions of workers,” published by Business Insider

“Adjusting to the New Normal with AB5 – A World Without Independent Contractors,” published by the National Law Review

“Impact on campaign workers,” published by The Sutton Law Firm

“AB5 is a threat to Silicon Valley,” published by the San Jose Mercury News

“The Impact Of California’s Independent Contractor Law On The Future Of Transportation,” published by Forbes

“This new law was meant to target Uber. So why could it hurt hospitals?” published by the Advisory Board

“Translation Agencies Are Cancelling My Contracts’ — California’s AB5 Bill Starts to Bite,” published by Slator

“California’s AB5 Codifies Stricter Rules for Independent Contractors – What Wine Industry Employers Need to Know,” published by JD Supra

“Will State’s New Freelance Law Kill Showbiz?” published by El Vaquero

“California AB5 Ends Film and TV Loan-Outs and Contractors,” published by B&W attorneys at law

“California trucker group files first challenge to AB5 law restricting independent contractors,” published by FreightWaves

“Freelance Writers Scramble to Make Sense of New California Law,” published by the Hollywood Reporter

“HOA Homefront: Is the handyman an employee? How AB5 could increase HOA payrolls,” published by the Orange County Register

“California Contractor Bill Will Have Far-Reaching Impact, Associations Say,” published by NOW Associations

“Gig Economy Firms Fight California Overreach with $110 Million Initiative,” published by The Times of San Diego

“AB-5 (The Law Eviscerating California Employers’ Ability To Hire Contractors) Is Still Alive And Well,” published by JD Supra