Vox Media is set to cut hundreds of freelance writers in 2020 after a new California law takes effect.
The bill was approved by the California Assembly in September of 2019 and signed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom. It is mostly aimed at companies that profit off the gig economy such as Uber, Lyft, and food delivery companies like DoorDash and Postmates. (RELATED: California Gov. Calls Semi-Auto Riffles ‘Godamn Weapons Of Mass Destruction)
The law requires that independent contractors be hired as employees by these companies and given health coverage and minimum wage protections, among other provisions.
However, this law also applies to freelance writers. Once the law is in effect freelance writers and journalists will not be able to submit “more than 35 times per year.”
In a post written on Vox in September of 2019, Vox politics and policy reporter, Alexia Campbell, wrote a post titled “Gig Workers Win In California Is A Victory For Workers Everywhere.”
The writers hurt by this are facing a ton of lost income. Being able to make some cash on the side or gain experience and clips by writing online has been a huge boon for a lot of people. California just straight up killed that. This will benefit a few, and suck for the many. https://t.co/syl55t4omJ
— Ben Domenech (@bdomenech) December 17, 2019
In the post, she writes “By making it hard for employers to misclassify employees as independent contractors, potentially millions of California workers who’ve been kept off payrolls will get basic labor rights for the first time.” (RELATED: Vox Writer Mad that ‘Ellen’ Producer Had A Reasonable Conversation About Guns With Dana Loesch)
She also calls the passage of this bill a “historic moment for the US labor movement too.”
The law also covers photojournalists, graphic designers, and artists.
John Ness, the executive director of SB Nation posted a blog post on the site Monday explaining the upcoming changes due to the new law.
SB Nation’s executive director John Ness writes, “We know many of our California contractors already have other full-time jobs and may not have the bandwidth to apply, but we hope to see many of them join us as employees.” https://t.co/KRCj241afy
— Kerry Flynn ???? (@kerrymflynn) December 16, 2019
“This is a bittersweet note of thanks to our California contractors,” Ness said, “Together, over 200 people on California sites wrote thousands of blog posts in 2019.”
In a separate paragraph, Ness states that starting Jan. 1, 2020, “that new law makes it impossible for us to continue with our current California team.”