Coast News Group refutes false allegation made by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Last year, California passed Assembly Bill 5, which went into effect on Jan. 1, 2020. The new law, known as AB 5, creates a strict test for determining whether an individual who provides services to a company is an independent contractor or an employee.
The law is causing a lot of backlash from ride-hailing drivers, computer coders, freelance writers and other gig workers.
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher authored the bill, and recently came to KUSI to further explain and respond to critics.
During the course of the interview Friday, Gonzalez-Fletcher said the following:
“We’ve seen journalism companies, we’ve seen Coast News, in fact, is a great example, where they fired all their employees and said we will rehire you as an independent contractor. So, no longer do get any benefits. No longer do you have any protections, you can come work for us in this provision. By the way, when other companies have compete against them, that is unfair competition for the companies that are doing the right thing and abiding by state law.”
Chris Kydd, Associate Publisher at The Coast News Group, says that Gonzalez’s statements are 100% inaccurate. Coast News Group says they want her to apologize to them and to the KUSI viewers.
He said Coast News Group “never fired all of our employees… On top of the carelessness of her claims, what she said potentially damaging to our business as it brings the credibility of the Coast News Group and our brand in to question. We are a media entity who has been respected in the community for over 30 years, and we remain one of the few independently owned news sources in San Diego. For her to even question us is irresponsible at the very least, so we respectfully ask that the assemblywoman apologize for the misinformation. This is about our reputation, and about the integrity of our brand as a trusted and credible news resource. We worked too hard to build this reputation and appreciate the chance to defend our honor.”
Chris Kydd was in studio to discuss Gonzalez’s statement.