California Freelancer Says She Questioned How She Would ‘Survive’ Under This State Law

A freelance writer and editor is speaking out about the negative effects of a recent California law, saying she questioned how she was “going to survive” after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the legislation, known as AB 5.

“The law … was signed … on Sept. 18, 2019, and when I woke up that morning and I read about it, you know, the next day, I thought, ‘This is going to be an existential threat to my career,’” recalls Karen Anderson, founder of Freelancers Against AB5, a Facebook group with over 18,000 members.

“I’m not going to—how am I going to survive?” Anderson adds of her thoughts at the time.

The website of the California Franchise Tax Board notes: “AB 5 is a bill the governor signed into law in September 2019 addressing employment status when a hiring entity claims that the person it hired is an independent contractor.”

Anderson says she has worked for almost 25 years as a freelance writer, an editor or managing editor, and a photographer. She says she “started investigating” the state’s new law “and I realized that … it encompassed all professions.”

“So golf caddies, videographers, photographers, nurse practitioners, whatever. So I thought, well, I want to find out how it’s affecting other people, not just me,” Anderson says of the law, adding:

And so I started this public Facebook group just to see if I could hear some people’s stories and … sure enough, they started coming in in … November and December, people started losing their livelihoods overnight. 

Anderson, a participant in a recent Heritage Foundation panel discussion, is today’s guest on “The Daily Signal Podcast.” She shares the No. 1 takeaway of the California law with listeners and discusses what’s being done to change it.

Listen to the podcast below:

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