What Writers Should Know About AB5

On January 22, NWU and the Authors Guild held a panel on “What Writers Should Know About AB5 and Similar Laws to End Misclassification.” The speakers were Authors Guild Executive Director Mary Rasenberger, Staff Attorney of the Employment Unit of the Legal Aid Society, Richard Blum, and NWU President Larry Goldbetter. You can see the panel and discussion here.

NWU was the first writers union to endorse AB5, and we stand by that. Misclassification has created an army of low-paid, unorganized workers, mostly women and workers of color, while the billionaires rake in the profits and don’t pay the taxes that would pay for the protections for their workers. The publishing/newspaper/digital media industry is no exception.

We believe the panic among freelancers and publishers regarding AB5 can be defused with a mass education program for publishers and freelancers alike. We have publicly and consistently defended AB5 and we are more intimately connected to the NYS bill that will soon be introduced. It will include a Professional Services exemption for creative professionals who meet the standards of independent contractor with no limit on submissions. And we propose the same fix for AB5 in California.

We have recently been in touch with Assemblywoman Gonzalez’ office in California and we look forward to helping to make the needed fixes to AB5.