California Assembly Bill 5 (AB5)
What You Need to Know: In December 2018 California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez introduced AB5, a bill intended to make it more difficult for companies to classify workers as independent contractors rather than employees. The bill was predominantly aimed at the large companies driving the gig economy, like “ride-sharing” giants Uber and Lyft. Unfortunately, the bill, which was signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom in September 2019, is so broad it will have outsized consequences for independent musicians who will effectively be treated like employers to all of the people who help them bring their vision to life—producers, engineers, musicians, publicists, managers, music video creators, dancers, background vocalists, etc.
MAC’s Perspective: MAC understands, appreciates, and supports the legislators wanting to protect hundreds of thousands of people in California who are working without benefits, but we feel that an exemption to AB5 for independent recording in California is critical to allowing independent artists, songwriters, and labels to remain in state.
“AB5 Could Crush Independent Music in California,” Variety, September 4, 2019