William Rogers

Governor Gavin Newsom’s signature made it official. California’s Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) is now law. In case you missed the news leading up to this, AB5 is the law that can turn a freelancer into an employee. Under the law, which takes effect on January 1, 2020, a freelancer will be designated an employee of a company if they perform job duties as part of the core business offerings of the company, OR if the way they work is directed by a company boss, OR if the worker doesn’t have their own independent business. How does that sound to you?

In a letter, Governor. Newsom said, “Assembly Bill 5 is a landmark legislation for workers and our economy…a next step is creating pathways for more workers to form a union, collectively bargain to earn more, and have a stronger voice at work.” Obviously, the focus is on helping workers. But do freelancers see themselves as workers? Do they want to? One thing we know is they want more pay as well as some benefits and protections.

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Millions of Americans living abroad are working as freelancers. Some work mainly for one or more American firms, others freelance for foreign firms or provide services directly to small firms or individuals. Many are settled permanently in one foreign country, others are intending to return to the U.S. after a few years, or they may be Digital Nomads, roaming between Wi-Fi hotspots in different countries providing freelance services online. Read More