On Monday night, the California legislature passed Assembly Bill 2257 (AB2257), a clean-up bill to Assembly Bill 5 (AB5). Under AB 2257, musicians, fine artists, freelance writers, photographers, and translators would be among those getting exemptions from AB5 to continue working as independent contractors, rather than as employees. The bill is expected to be signed into law by Governor Newsom later this month. AB 2257 would have significant implications for specific industries, including:
- Eliminate submission cap for freelance writers and photographers (current rules require freelancers who contribute more than 35 submissions to be classified as an employee);
- Exempt underwriting inspections and other services for the insurance industry from the ABC test;
- Exempt certain occupations in connection with creating, marketing, promoting, or distributing sound recordings or musical compositions from the ABC test;
- Create exceptions for licensed landscape architects, specialized performers teaching master classes, registered professional foresters, real estate appraisers and home inspectors, and feedback aggregators.
Notably, AB 2257 does not provide exemptions for workers in the rideshare industry such as Lyft and Uber. You can find an update on the latest in the rideshare industry here.
As we blogged in December and April, Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB5 into law in September 2019. The new law expanded the California Supreme Court’s decision in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court. Specifically, it applied Dynamex’s “ABC Test” to both California Wage Orders and the California Labor Code, creating the presumption that workers in California are employees, not independent contractors – unless an employer can satisfy a three pronged test known as the ABC test.
We will provide you with updates on AB5 as the landscape continues to evolve in the coming weeks and months.