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California’s Changing Freelancer Economy

Posted on Saturday, December 28, 2019 at 8:33 PM

In the news: A new labor law taking effect in California upends its gig economy.

Next week, a new labor law in California goes into effect that will redefine freelance work. Ari Levy and Alex Sherman of CNBC.com write that Assembly Bill 5, “targeted primarily at ride-hailing and food delivery companies like Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and PostMates ... requires gig economy workers to be hired as employees with benefits like health coverage and minimum wage protections.” The law limits freelancers to 35 individual contributions per year before they must be hired as employees.

The law, intended by its framers to protect gig workers from being exploited by companies, has landed with a thud in some sectors. There’s widespread backlash from freelance journalists who have lost, or expect to lose, their jobs because they are producing more than 35 pieces of content per year. According to CBS San Francisco, freelance journalists are suing the state to revise the part of the law that’s threatening their livelihood. Read more here.

Also Notable

A Rough Month for Car Magazines

Earlier this month, TEN Publishing stopped production of 19 of its 22 print car magazines. According to Greg Dool of Foliomag.com, the surviving print titles are MotorTrend, Hot Rod, and Four Wheeler. Canceled titles include Automobile, Classic Trucks, and Truck Trend. A memo to employees announced a “one-time voluntary separation program, in which some editors and salespeople will be given the option to resign in exchange for ‘special separation benefits.’” For a full list of shuttered automotive magazines, read here.

New Print Magazines in 2019

This year saw the launch of several branded print magazines. Among them are Sir Kensington’s Sandwich magazine and outdoor retailer REI’s Uncommon Path. Read more about this burgeoning trend in content marketing here.

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