Comment from Amy Lamarra

I am a small business owner residing and conducting business in Los Angeles, CA. I would like to express my support for clarification of and preservation of freelance workers in my state, as our new AB5 law in CA has created confusion, would force at least some of my contractors to become my employees.

I also like to point out that free-lance work is chosen by many for the flexibility that it affords to women, single parents, disabled workers and older workers, just to name a few. Traditional jobs are actually undesirable for many workers due to rigid hours, long commutes, lack of time off, or hostile office cultures. The very same things that AB-5 alleges to help people gain, are the things many freelancers have created for themselves in becoming self-employed. Without federal clarification, AB-5 as it is written will destroy these self-employed business models.

My own experience in freelance work spans over 25 years. As a new mom, I did freelance work for many small businesses, at least half of which would have been made impossible by this new law. I created jewelry designs for two private label jewelry companies. Under the new law, I would not have been able to do this work as a non-employee. Neither of these companies were in need of a staff designer and I was not interested in a full-time / onsite position. I also did work creating marketing materials for other small businesses, in which I determined my own pay and my own hours. These jobs allowed me to stay home with my son and the flexibility to build up my current business.

I now run my own wholesale jewelry business from my home. I have chosen specifically to work out of my home so I may be available for my son who has special needs and gets many hours a week of therapy. I have outside, all women, contracted help. They do work for me at their home on their own time and they all have other regular full-time work and benefits.

Since learning of the AB-5 law, I have been reading and re-reading the bill, attempting to understand exactly what I will need to do to comply. Unfortunately, it doesnt look like my current set-up will be acceptable and all my workers will likely be affected. If I can’t continue to contract with them, I will likely have to find a small manufacturer to do the work, possibly not even within the US. I would much rather continue to use local help and I appreciate very much that labor department seems to understand the nuances involved in contract work.

Comment ID: WHD-2020-0007-0089 | 14-Oct-20

Categorized under Family, Flexibility, Independence

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