Wednesday, May 13, 2020

AB5 Amended to Reflect Music Workers’ “Gig Economy” Situations

Kalley Aman is a labor and employment law attorney who practices in Los Angeles, California with Buchalter, APC. Client focused, Kalley Aman stays closely informed oF the latest developments in the area of California employment law. One change welcome to music workers is a recent amendment to the state’s “Gig Economy” Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), which went into effect in January 2020.

Under the three-part ABC test established by AB5, producers, songwriters, and session musicians would need to obtain legal designation as an employee if they wanted to collaborate for a single performance or project. . Thus, W2 forms and payrolls would be needed for a single performance or recording session.

This was criticized as placing a major bureaucratic and financial burden on those who facilitate gig-to-gig projects. With the amendment in place, a less strict Borello test is applied when determining whether a person is an employer related to studio recordings and live performances.

In effect, this will free up those in the music industry to continue to work flexibly, as they have been doing for years. At the same time, they will receive AB5 protections in situations where the work involves significant control and direction on the part of a single employer.