When the ABC Test was codified into California law through AB5, chaos ensued for previously thriving independent contractors all across the state.
The law went into effect January 1, 2020. By February 2020, the state’s own nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office estimated that at least 1 million residents would be affected, at that the number who would become traditional employees—the purported goal of the law—would be “probably much smaller.” The primary effect of this ABC Test law was independent contractors losing their clients and careers.
By May 2020, the economic damage was so severe that California lawmakers had to pass a cleanup bill exempting many more professions.
In November 2020, California voters passed Prop 22 at the ballot box by a 59-41% margin, sending a clear message to lawmakers that the ABC Test law was wrong.
As of 2021, there are still professionals in California trying to get exemptions, and there are multiple types of professionals suing the state in federal court, claiming the law is unconstitutional.
Here are just some of the stories explaining the damage that this ABC Test law in California has done.
“Amendment to clean-up bill for AB5 needed to protect professional translators and interpreters,” published by the Lake County Record-Bee
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“This new law was meant to target Uber. So why could it hurt hospitals?” published by the Advisory Board
“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