Project Description

Musicians to be exempt from California “Gig Economy” Assembly Bill 5

Update as of April 17, 2020

Musicians to be exempt from California “Gig Economy” Assembly Bill 5, as reported by Variety.

Multiple music industry organizations announced today that an agreement has been reached with California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez and Majority Leader Ian Calderon on pending amendments to California’s “Gig Economy” Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) that will provide relief to the majority of affected music professionals, including recording artists, musicians, composers, songwriters and vocalists. Upon the Legislature’s reconvening, amendments will change prior language in AB5 that created obstacles for music professionals securing work.

February 11, 2020

Many of you are aware of the recent CA AB5 legislation that took effect January 1, 2020.

This legislation has severe implications for musicians and composers working in California and arguably makes it more difficult for many of them to earn a living. By placing unrealistic, arbitrary and burdensome requirements on employers who want to engage their services, including but not limited to production music libraries, this legislation has the potential to inflict great damage on the music industry in this state.

Musicians and composers traditionally provide their services as independent contractors since they work for many different employers, often on short term and one-time projects. Requiring employers to treat independent musicians as employees, even a musician who plays on one gig, creates a great deal of extra paperwork, payroll complication and expense and will simply cause employers to hire out of state or avoid hiring musical talent at all. An independent musician or composer who hires other musicians would be subject to the same burdensome requirements.

The law provides for dozens of “carve out” exceptions granted to various professions including doctors, hairdressers, real estate agents, freelance writers, photographers, fine artists, marketing contractors, travel agents, graphic designers and others- however there are currently no exemptions for independent musicians and composers. There is exemption language being drafted, but nothing has been approved and/or adopted at this time.

This law needs to be fixed immediately to provide an exemption for independent musicians and composers. We urge you to contact your state representatives to make your voice heard on this issue.

You can find your state representatives at the following link:

http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/

In addition, we encourage you to contact the governor’s office on this issue:

Office of California Governor Gavin Newsom

The more feedback these legislators hear from their constituents, the more chance we have of amending this ill-conceived law. Your message to these lawmakers need not be complicated; a simple statement such as the following will suffice:

“I am very concerned about the effect AB5 is having on the music industry in California and the ability of thousands of independent musicians and composers to earn a living here. We urge you to pass a much-needed exemption to the law for these professions as you have already done for other creative professionals. Thank you for your attention.”

Please follow these action steps:

  1. Use this link to identify your state representatives: http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/
    1. Go to their websites and click on “Contact Me
”
    2. Communicate the below message via email, text or phone
      1. I am very concerned about the effect AB5 is having on the music industry in California and the ability of thousands of independent musicians and composers to earn a living here. We urge you to pass a much-needed exemption to the law for these professions as you have already done for other creative professionals. Thank you for your attention.
  2. Use this link to contact the Office of Governor Newsom: https://www.gov.ca.gov/
    1. Click on “Contact”
    2. Select “Have Comment”
    3. Enter your name and contact email
    4. Select Legislation Issues/Concerns as the subject
    5. Select “Con” and paste the below message in the content box
      1. I am very concerned about the effect AB5 is having on the music industry in California and the ability of thousands of independent musicians and composers to earn a living here. We urge you to pass a much-needed exemption to the law for these professions as you have already done for other creative professionals. Thank you for your attention.
  3. Post the below message on Facebook with hashtag #AB5 and tag both your state representative and Governor Gavin Newsom
    1. I am very concerned about the effect AB5 is having on the music industry in California and the ability of thousands of independent musicians and composers to earn a living here. We urge you to pass a much-needed exemption to the law for these professions as you have already done for other creative professionals. Thank you for your attention.
  4. Post the below messages on Twitter with hashtag #AB5
    1. .@GavinNewsom I am very concerned about the effect #AB5 is having on the music industry in CA and the ability of thousands to earn a living here. We urge you to pass an exemption to the law for independent musicians and composers as you have already done for other creatives.
    2. .[INSERT YOUR STATE REPRESENTATIVE HERE] I am very concerned about the effect #AB5 is having on the music industry in CA and the ability of thousands to earn a living here. We urge you to pass an exemption to the law for independent musicians and composers as you have already done for other creatives.
  5. Sign this petition: https://www.change.org/p/help-independent-california-music-professionals-secure-exemption-under-ab5

The PMA thanks you for taking prompt action on this issue. We will keep you apprised of any new developments as they happen.