I perform for various events and venues with a band. We’re all independent contractors who are seniors and tax paying citizens who survive off of our music income. We pay taxes. Don’t destroy families and the economy and make the homeless situation worse.
Written by L.R.
Business Owner, Independent Contractor, or Both?
Are you an Independent Contractor? What type of service do you offer?
I am no longer an independent contractor myself, though I was one for years before incorporating my small video production business in 2017.
What impact has this bill had on your ability to contract with Independent Contractors?
I have been working with and regularly hiring a handful of videographers as independent contractors for 5+ years, working with the same people and building steady and awesome professional relationships over time and providing solid part-time income that these folks rely on. With the new bill I am required to hire these folks as employees.
What has been the immediate impact of AB5 on your ability to do work and/or make an income?
Though I am completely for uplifting the rights of workers and respecting and compensating labor well, this bill has done several detrimental things to our small business - adding about 30% additional cost to what I usually pay the videographers has led to:
- Laying off our administrative assistant in order to compensate for the extra cost, then myself as the owner having to take that administrative load back on myself. So I have to work harder/more for same or less income. And another contractor completely lost this helpful part-time work.
- Increasing our rates. Our clients are significantly working artists and arts non-profits, in an already deeply underfunded sector always in the struggle to survive financially (and the videos we produce for them are mainly in effort to help them keep afloat through grants and promotion). So these artists are also taking the hit.
- Search for more work that isn't delegated. Because it is significantly more expensive to delegate work to employees, in order to see the sustainability of the business, I am personally looking for more work that I do not delegate. This means again that I am doing more work for the same income and also that I am investing less in securing jobs that would give my videographers income. So my videographers, who were once independent contractors, despite the benefit of my company paying more of their taxes under employee status, ultimately take a hit as well.
Are there other specific ways AB5 has impacted your business model?
Additionally, having employees as forced the investment in workers comp, a significant extra monthly expense (previously, I could opt out of workers comp as the officer of the S Corp myself and then our liability insurance covered the independent contractors on sites).
What are your long term concerns about AB5 or other similar legislation imposing more strict regulations on Independent Contract work?
Essentially this bill moves me into a position oriented back to working more individually versus collaboratively, which really is not good for small business. I have been able to maneuver a tight ship to stay in the arts sector and these major expenses may tip the scale. I am currently unsure of the future of the sustainability of the business.
If you could tell legislators directly one thing about Independent Contract work, what would it be?
I have been able to maneuver a tight ship to stay in the arts sector and these major expenses may tip the scale. I am currently unsure of the future of the sustainability of the business. Because it is significantly more expensive to delegate work to employees, in order to see the sustainability of the business, I am personally looking for more work that I do not delegate. This means, again, that I am doing more work for the same income and also that I am investing less in securing jobs that would give my videographers income.
More Personal Stories
I work at home due to a medical issue. My work is all computer based paralegal and court work. I’m a sole proprietorship. I do everything myself. So far I’ve been unaffected but I live with a huge concern that that will change.
Because of the nature of our work. It’s sporadic there’s not need to have someone as an employee. I may use someone one day and not use them the remainder of the year. We contact interpreters based on their availability, so I couldn’t ever hire the same interpreter as they may be tied up elsewhere.