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Freelance journalists file suit calling AB5 unconstitutional

December 18, 2019

By Tribune News Service : sfexaminer – excerpt

Under the state’s landmark labor law AB5, which goes into effect Jan. 1, news outlets can publish no more than 35 pieces per year

Organizations representing freelance journalists are mounting a legal challenge to a new California law that aims to rein in companies’ use of independent contractors by placing certain restrictions on contract work.

Under the state’s landmark labor law AB5, which goes into effect Jan. 1, news outlets can publish no more than 35 pieces per year from an individual freelancer writer before that journalist must be classified as a part- or full-time employee. Some freelancers worry publishers will let them go rather than convert them to employees _ a designation that guarantees some benefits and protections.

One day after Vox Media announced that it will cut hundreds of freelance writers living in California or covering California sports teams, two freelancers groups filed a lawsuit in federal court in Los Angeles alleging that AB5 unconstitutionally restricts free speech and the media. The groups _ the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the National Press Photographers Association _ are represented pro bono by the libertarian Pacific Legal Foundation… (more)

Is the state of California intent on removing more independent journalists and investigators than the market has already taken out? Who is benefitting from this? Certainly not the public that is woefully ignorant about how the government is operating and who is responsible for which new draconian rule or regulation that is making their lives miserable.

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