Skip to comments.Vox Cheered California’s Gig Economy Law, Then Fired Freelance Workers [liberal hypocrisy at its finest]
Posted on 12/18/2019 3:59:14 PM PST by grundle
Vox Media rooted for the passage of a California gig economy bill that is now forcing Vox to lay off hundreds of its own freelance workers.
* Vox Media is laying off hundreds of freelance workers as Californias gig economy rights bill takes effect.
* Vox cheered for the gig economy bill on its own news pages. Now its letting freelance workers go because of the new law.
* This is a painfully ironic, cautionary tale against the broader labor movement represented by politicians like Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
California AB-5 takes effect in 2020 after passage by the California state Senate in September. The bill targets the very business model that has grown companies like Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash into a booming gig economy.
The bill requires these companies to reclassify much of their freelance workforce as employees, and provide benefits like minimum wage, paid time off, and health insurance. But its already cutting off hard-working freelancers from flexible work opportunities.
Vox Media Lays Off Hundreds of California Bloggers
Rideshare giants like Uber and Lyft opposed AB-5. But their workers arent the only ones affected by the new law. Online freelancers working to boost their income are the first casualties of Californias new gig economy bill.
They used to be able to work flexible hours writing about something they love. Now they cant. Vox Medias sports blogging network, SB Nation, is laying off hundreds of California freelance sports bloggers:
"This shift is part of a business and staffing strategy that we have been exploring over the past two years, but one that is also necessary in light of Californias new independent contractor law, which goes into effect January 1, 2020."
Vox says the new law makes it impossible for the digital media company to keep paying part-time bloggers. It restricts contractors from producing more than 35 articles a year. Vox has cut out hundreds of flex positions, to be replaced with just 12 full-time jobs.
Flashback: Vox Championed the Gig Economy Laws
Left-leaning Vox has long been supportive of AB-5.
In July, Vox chastised Democratic presidential candidates for not boosting AB-5 from the national debate stage. As the bill neared a final vote, Voxs Recode vertical listed off the pros, with no mention of the cons.
After its passage, Vox hailed AB-5 as a victory for workers everywhere. But within a month of AB-5s passage, LA area Uber drivers reported a drastic plunge in surge bonuses. Rideshare drivers are also worried that theyll soon be confined to working approved shifts instead of flexible work schedules, a major draw for residents looking to boost their incomes.
Elizabeth Warren & Labor Activists Dont Understand the Economy
Elizabeth Warren, like Voxs writers, doesnt understand how the economy works. | Source: REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Sen. Elizabeth Warren also penned an op-ed backing the bill:
"All Democrats need to stand up and say, without hedging, that we support AB 5 and back full employee status for gig workers."
But the immediate fallout from AB-5 shows the hazard in the labor movements approach to helping workers. Over the weekend, Warren called out JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon for advocating that corporations take voluntary steps to be socially responsible:
"Theyll say theyre going to do it on their own, they may make some adjustments. But understand this: Theres a reason you put laws in place. Because the one who doesnt follow voluntarily is the one who then gets a little short-term comparative advantage, gets to boost the share price just a little bit."
Elizabeth Warren and the labor movement dont seem to understand that this same cutthroat competition takes effect when laws are in place too. Any law that disadvantages a corporation pressures it to squeeze the difference out of its workers.
Progressives dont believe profits trickle down. Why is it so hard for them to believe that costs do?
Vox writing is garbage.
You can’t fix stupid.
Vox is saying those ‘writers’ can continue to spew for them after 35 articles, they just won’t get paid for it.
You are only allowed to work where the socialists say you can. You also cannot earn more money then they say you can.
All these people will lose work in California.
Left just wants to unionize these people and extract dues from them
The jobs are just moving. And the internet makes that very easy.
Californias tax authority has been insane, trying to collect income taxes from people in other states paid by California firms. And in some cases, people who sold high dollar items to California.
Now, California Can Assess Taxes No Matter Where You Live...Really
This has created several ongoing shifts in the freelancing world. (I do this for a living.) Platforms are banning California residents from taking new assignments, because they dont want the person classified as an employee. Requestors of projects are refusing to work with people in California. Ive been asked to not only confirm I live in Texas but prove it.
Another possible out for these requestors is to move to another freelancing platform not based in California. Upwork loses work, iwriter gains it.
Another issue is that platforms can easily migrate servers and locations. Imagine the company based in Silicon Valley saying were now in Texas or Florida. Congratulations, that states laws apply. They can continue issuing projects from requestors to freelancers, and California loses a taxpayer who can move more easily than anything else.
The last ditch move for some of these firms is entirely relying on international talent. If the freelancers are in India and China, you dont have to worry about U.S. employment rules.
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