Update: AB-5 rewrites under AB-2257 prepared by SAG-AFTRA clarified that industry members will not be impacted as expected!
About AB5 and how it impacts online content creators and adult industry workers
We seek to correct misinformation about AB5 and the impact it will have on people. Classifying independent entertainers as employees of the platforms we use is a misrepresentation. Many of us use multiple technology platforms to create and conduct our business, which make a classification of “employee” not only inaccurate, but harmfully restrictive. It’s better for us as workers to retain our current classification as independent contractors.
We joined a call on December 16th, in which the California Labor Federation stated that the AB5 law doesn’t change the legal effects of the Dynamex case from 2 years ago. Since no sites have changed drastically because of that case, there is no reason for sites to make changes with AB5 starting January 1st.
Some sites believe they must hire models rather than classify them as independent contractors, and they are not going to hire every model who currently performs. The platform Streamate has provided an example of this effect, leaving many models unemployed. Others like Chaturbate and ManyVids have stated they will not be changing anything come January 1st.
Streamate’s decision seems to have been made from speculation about the bill, and we hope more streaming and content platforms will follow Chaturbate’s lead in continuing to classify models as independent contractors.
Based on the ABC test from the Dynamex case, AB5 does not apply to most of our industry. Nor does it change the fact that the law classifies adult industry workers, streamers, and content creators as independent contractors. You can read the ABC test from the AB5 bill that determines generally whether workers are an employee or an independent contractor below:
What about employee benefits?
When considering benefits like healthcare, it’s important to remember that it’s up to the company whether some of those benefits are available to those with full time employment who work 30 or more hours per week. Many people in the industry love their work as independent contractors because they can take time off as they please, work fewer hours, or work other jobs. Supplying some workers with full time employment neglects workers who may not always want to work that much or aren’t able to work those hours due to health issues or other jobs.
Employee agreements may also include things like not being able to stream, or post content on competitive sites, meaning that models would no longer be able to post new content on different platforms — a practice that independent contractors currently benefit from, and often rely on.
We are most concerned with the possibility that companies will own the intellectual property and copyright of content shared for sale on their platform. Online industry members we represent own most of their content as independent contractors, but may not continue to do so if they were to be considered employees.
While it is NOT our belief that AB5 changes our status as independent contractors, we are working hard to clarify the bill for necessary exemptions. Soon we will be opening our association to new membership, so stay tuned for more information as we organize by following our twitter @AILAAssoc!