“The organization stands in solidarity with our members and with all freelancers facing threats to their livelihoods as a result of laws and legislation aimed at either prohibiting or restricting their work as independent entrepreneurs.” ASJA president, Milton C. Toby JD.
American Society of Journalists and Authors, Inc., Opposes Efforts to
Restrict Work by Independent Writers
With the passage of AB5 in California and the introduction of similar restrictive legislation in other states and in Congress, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, Inc., issued a policy statement opposing measures like these.
Statement on Legislative Threats to Freelance Writers
From the American Society of Journalists and Authors, Inc.
For more than 70 years, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, Inc., has recognized and endorsed the guarantees of free speech and an unfettered press established in the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and the promise of equal protection under the laws set out in the Fourteenth Amendment. Our dedication to these basic principles of writing with a free hand is part of the organization’s Constitution, which includes the improvement of “professional conditions for the independent writer” as one of ASJA’s principal purposes. Our mission statement reflects our on-going intention to “represent freelancers’ interests, serving as spokesperson for their right to control and profit from the uses of their work wherever it appears.”
In this context, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, Inc., opposes legislative efforts to restrict the ability of independent writers to work as they choose without governmental interference. The organization stands in solidarity with our members and with all freelancers facing threats to their livelihoods as a result of laws and legislation aimed at either prohibiting or restricting their work as independent entrepreneurs.
The American Society of Journalists and Authors, Inc., recognizes that misclassification of workers as independent contractors when they deserve treatment as employees is a serious problem in many—but certainly not all—sectors of the labor market. We in no way condone the exploitation of workers by their employers. Trying to solve the problem by painting all independent workers with the same overly broad brush, however, ignores a robust community of freelance writers who choose independent career paths. Such legislation is both short-sighted and ultimately counterproductive. We urge the country’s lawmakers to respect the constitutional rights and personal preferences of freelancers when considering legislation that redefines the status of independent contractors. Legislation that includes freelance writers in the general class of allegedly exploited workers is an attempt to solve a problem that does not exist and will cause immeasurable harm.
Milton C. Toby JD
American Society of Journalists and Authors, Inc.
Information on the following pages was collected and curated by ASJA members lobbying in opposition to laws and legislation that aim to restrict the ability of freelance writers to work as they choose without putting their independence at risk. ASJA supports these efforts and recognizes the contributions of everyone—our members and non-members alike—who have been freelancers’ “boots on the ground” in this fight. We all owe them our thanks!
This resource site will be updated as needed and includes links for identifying and contacting lawmakers, general information about AB5-type legislation and the threats they present, and strategies that have been successful in challenging that legislation. Visitors to the site should keep the following caveats in mind:
● Although this site reflects the collective work of many ASJA members, nothing here, unless specifically identified as such, constitutes a policy statement on behalf of ASJA, Inc.
● Nothing on this site is intended to be, nor should be construed as, legal advice. The information is offered only as potentially relevant educational material and should not be interpreted in any context as legal advice. The Internet and social media are seldom reliable sources of legal advice and questions should be directed to an attorney familiar with your individual situation and the laws of your state.
● ASJA, Inc., has not verified the accuracy of the material posted here. Users assume all responsibility for any inaccuracies or misinformation.
● Success in one jurisdiction does not guarantee success in another and ASJA, Inc., assumes no responsibility for unsatisfactory results or any other harm resulting from the use, or misuse, of information or recommendations found on this site.
FAQs, Myths & Facts About the Anti-Independent Contractor Laws and the ABCs
Federal Legislation: The PRO Act