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California Gov. Newsom Signs Critical AB5 Exemption For Music Makers Into Law
Ever since the initial passage of California's Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) back in September 2019, the Recording Academy has been fighting for a much-needed amendment to exempt music makers from the bill's sweeping intentions to regulate gig-economy workers.. At its annual Entertainment Law Initiative back in January, the Academy discussed the issue during a panel and has continued to work with music industry stakeholders to press for the correction.
At long last, the amendment exempting the music community from the unintended consequences of AB5 was officially signed into law by California Governor Gavin Newsom on Sept. 4. This came just three days after unanimously passing both the Assembly and the Senate on Sept. 1. The update to AB5 ensures that music professionals won’t have to deal with the added costs for compliance, accounting practices, and new business expenses such as payroll processing that, while intended to benefit independent contractors working for large tech companies, created havoc for music makers and the studios and venues who hire them.
AB5 took effect on Jan. 1, 2020, and Recording Academy members of the Los Angeles and San Francisco Chapters were quick to identify concerns about the law, prompting the need to secure an exemption to protect many music makers in the state. The amendment is the fruit of months of labor of negotiation by the Recording Academy in coordination with other music industry stakeholders, California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez and Majority Leader Ian Calderon.
Back in April, the assembly agreed to exempt most music industry workers from the requirements of AB5 as it pertains to determining employment classification, setting in motion last week's final passage of the amendment into law. The exemption, which now goes into effect, will ensure that all music makers will be able to continue to operate under the pre-existing workforce requirements.
To learn more about the AB5 and its impact on the music community, visit the Recording Academy's Advocacy Issues & Policy page.