Reports

California Assembly Bill 5 and Worker Misclassification: Their Effects on Nonprofit Arts and Culture Organizations

Victoria Plettner-Saunders, Arlene Yang

February 2020

Hazy image of lights unfocused in the distance.

Victoria Plettner-Saunders worked with San Diego employment attorney Arlene Yang to write a white paper outlining California Assembly Bill 5 and its impact on arts organizations.  

In January 2019, California Assembly Bill 5 was enacted. Also known as the “gig worker bill” it codified a state Supreme Court decision regarding worker classification. Almost every arts organization in the state has been impacted by AB 5 and we are just beginning to see the effects of the reclassifications of independent contractors to employee status on many of them. California Arts Advocates has been working closely with the bill’s author, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, to create amendments that could lessen the impacts to the sector, but there is little chance that it will be fully repealed. In November, as arts organizations’ boards and staff were trying to make sense out of the legislation, Victoria Plettner-Saunders worked with San Diego employment attorney Arlene Yang to write California Assembly Bill 5 and Worker Misclassification: Their Effects on Nonprofit Arts and Culture Organizations in an effort to inform the field as to what lay ahead.

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