California Passes AB5

California Passes AB5

Both houses of the California State Legislature have now passed Assembly Bill 5 (AB5). The landmark legislation that seeks to redefine independent contractor status only needs Governor Gavin Newsom’s signature to become law on January 1, 2020.

Recognizing the potential negative impact AB5 would have for the many members who choose to provide freelance services, ATA joined a number of other associations requesting an exemption for translators and interpreters in August. (See “ATA Position on California Assembly Bill 5” in the August 15 issue of ATA Newsbriefs.)

While exemptions were given to dozens of occupations in the final bill, including doctors, lawyers, architects, accountants, private investigators, and insurance agents in the final bill, no exemption was made for translators and interpreters.

According to CNBC news, bills proposing similar employee classification rules are pending in Washington State and Oregon.

The Joint National Committee for Languages (JNCL), an advocacy organization in Washington, DC, is monitoring opposition to AB5 as well as supporting other U.S. advocacy efforts on behalf of the language professions. Look for updates on the JNCL website. And be sure to check out ATA’s advocacy efforts earlier this year.

2 Responses to "California Passes AB5"

  1. Aaron Alder says:

    This will certainly affect whether agencies send work to freelance translators living in California. If I were a freelance translator living in California, I would be very concerned about how this would affect my ability to work, particularly in a state where it is generally already very expensive to live.

  2. Jake says:

    ATA “the Voice of Interpreters and Translators” has been pretty silent on providing guidance and or assistance to those affected by the horrible AB5 Currently in effect in California.

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