" /> About AB5

About AB5

Advocacy | What is Advocacy | Advocacy Resources | About AB 5

(April 17, 2020) Lorena Gonzalez Announces Pending Changes to How AB 5 Applies to the Music Industry
Read Assemblywoman Gonzalez's full announcement here.
According the terms of the amended language, musicians performing in symphony orchestras are sill subject to the terms of AB 5 because the nature of their work inherently draws a significant level of control and direction from their employer.

(February 13, 2020) ACSO continues to monitor AB 1850, the "cleanup” bill introduced by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez to clarify AB 5. We are also continuing to reach out to our members to gather data on the impact that you are seeing on your organization as a result of this new law. We are sharing what we learn from you with those working on AB 1850 and with our statewide advocate and lobbyist, Californians for the Arts/California Arts Advocates.
We know that elected officials are becoming aware of the challenges that the arts sector is facing due to AB 5 because on February 6, in a letter issued to the Assembly Committee on Budget, California Assemblywomen Lorena Gonzalez and Christy Smith requested a one-time allocation of $20 million in the 2020-21 state budget to the California Arts Council for the administration of a grants program serving small budget non-profit arts organizations that make a good faith effort to comply with AB 5. This proposal now goes to budget sub-committees to be discussed and analyzed until the final budget bill is passed by the end of June.
Californians for the Arts has also recommended that the California Arts Council provide emergency grant funds in their existing grant season to aid in the process for artists and arts organizations to be in compliance with AB 5. The Council’s Program Policy committee agreed to move forward with reviewing criteria for the funds proposed and will bring forward their recommendations at the next public meeting on April 1, 2020. If you agree that emergency grant funds would be beneficial to your organization, you can sign a petition.

If you are looking for other ways to take action around AB 5, don't forget to take the Impact Survey or send a letter to your elected officials.

 (January 21, 2020) We have spoken with many of you over the past few weeks about about AB 5, the new California employment law that went into effect January 1 and outlines new rules around classifying workers as employees or independent contractors. Aimed at the growing “gig economy," the law extends far beyond, reaching almost every sector of the state’s economy – including the nonprofit performing arts.

The complexities around AB 5 have caused great concern and confusion within our member network and the landscape is still changing as everyone works to understand the impact of this new law.

While ACSO cannot give legal advice, we care deeply about our members' ability to continue robust operations and bring classical music to communities throughout California. For months we have been working closely with Californians for the Arts/California Arts Advocates to advocate on behalf of our sector and to inform the content of a corrections bill (see below) that is currently being written. To aid this effort, we have been and will continue to share your concerns and challenges to help illustrate the adverse impact that this bill, in its current incarnation, could have on our sector.

As we learn more, we will keep you updated and we will continue to provide you with resources and information to help you comply with the law. In addition, below is information you should know as well as urgent ways to take action. Keep checking back for updates. We will also continue to reach out to our members about the impact of AB 5 and you can contact us at [email protected] or 800-495-2276 x1.

We highly encourage you to keep yourself informed and to contact legal counsel if you have access to it. If you do not have legal counsel, you can contact California Lawyers for the Arts for their Lawyer Referral and Information Services, or Californians for the Arts has provided a list of employment lawyers who may be able to answer questions.

Corrections Bill AB 1850 was introduced on January 6 by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez, the author of AB 5, to enact legislation that will further clarify the new law. California Arts Advocates is working with the author’s office and several other legislators to try to get additional exemptions or clarifications, such as for short-term engagements (one-time or occasional gigs) and also for workers providing limited engagement services to small-budget (under $250k) tax exempt organizations. 

One of the professional services that is exempted in AB 5 is "fine artist," but there is no clarification or definition about what kind of work that includes; thereby it is subject to interpretation. Assemblymember Gonzalez has stated on several occasions that "fine artist” may cover more than just visual artists. “Obviously, a muralist is a fine artist,” she says. “A musician is a fine artist.” And “I think as our world changes, the definition of a fine artist changes,” she says. “This is going to be an ongoing discussion.”

Take an Impact Survey: Californians for the Arts/California Arts Advocates released a new survey to gather data to determine the direct impact of AB 5 compliance and to learn if organizations are reducing or ceasing programs or closing altogether and if workers are finding fewer opportunities for employment. 

Write Your Elected Officials: Tell your representatives about the anticipated effect that this new legislation could have on your operations, especially if it includes job loss or service reduction. Hearing directly from constituents has an impact. Californians for the Arts/California Arts Advocates has even provided a template and an easy way to find your legislator.