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Update: Is Your Freelancing Life in Danger? | President’s Post by Laura Stigler

28 Feb 2023 5:27 PM | Laura Stigler (Administrator)

As you may recall, in my October 2022 blog I sounded the alarm about the ABC Test and AB5 laws that have disastrously affected the livelihoods of millions of freelancers and small businesses in California. Proposals of copycat laws have been taken up in states nationwide, including right here in Illinois. This is not good. 

To (re)familiarize yourself with an overview of the situation, I invite (urge) you to read the October blog. Here are a few more things I’m inviting (urging) you to do to get a feel for the real impact of these laws and what they could mean for your business — and that of your clients’. These are the easy-to-do actions suggested by Lila Stromer, a New York-based self-employed editor who has been deeply involved in fighting this issue and has been my main source for getting the correct information to you. From her weekly newsletters:

1. If you do nothing else, take 9 minutes to view this video of Rep. Kevin Kiley  (R-CA), chair of the subcommittee on Workforce Protections in the U.S. House of Representatives. He “takes on the USDOL (U.S. Dept. of Labor) and the PRO (Protecting the Right to Organize) Act,” mentioning “many of the fields that have been harmed” due to California’s AB5 Act and the PRO Act — facsimiles thereof that are attempting to move through the U.S. Congress.  

2. Read H. RES. 72, a one-page, very digestible resolution proposed by U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA-48).  Summed up as Recognizing the contributions of independent workers and contractors to the American economy,” it gets what freelancers are all about.

3. From Lila’s newsletter: “Good interview on how AB5/ABC Test destroyed/is destroying freelancer businesses across hundreds of fields. Use the examples listed when making noise to legislators. It also makes clear how many fields were damaged in California by AB5, and what could happen to freelancers if similar bills pass in other states or at the federal level. It also includes excellent advice on what noise to make right now. It’s an interview on YouTube and just about 10 minutes long. Well worth your time!

4. Express your opposition to any bill in Illinois based on the AB5, ABC Test and PRO Act, all of which infringe on the working rights of Independent Contractors and small business owners. Contact bill sponsors IL Rep. Will Guzzardi (D- 39th District) and IL Rep. Marcus Evans (D-33rd District)

5. CALL TO ACTIONCall the HELP Committee members to tell them why the PRO Act with the ABC Test is so harmful for freelancers across the nation (since you will probably be speaking to someone who isn’t your senator).

When contacting legislators, you can briefly mention how and why you’ve chosen the freelance life. In essence, no politician has the right to tell us freelancers how we choose to work and live. 

This is our fight. Have at it.

-- Laura Stigler 

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