National Newspaper Publishers Association President: AB 5 has negative impact on African Americans

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – National Newspaper Publishers Association President and CEO Benjamin F. ChavisJr’s recently shared an op-ed for Black News Channel says from his perspective as head of Black-owned newspapers and media companies, AB 5 has a negative impact on African American independent contractors and entrepreneurs, including journalists and rideshare drivers.

California Assembly Bill 5 which passed in 2019, was designed to determine a worker’s status as an independent contractor or an employee.

Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez authored the bill, and it was co-authored by San Diego Mayoral candidate Todd Gloria.

Chavis Jr said “In my view, the proposed California law, Assembly Bill 5, is unconstitutional and racist.” “We have a fundamental right to participate in the emerging gig-economy. Black independent contractors who drive as a means of entrepreneurship do matter.”

“Our NNPA member publishers hire employees, but we also hire a large number of independent contractors across America to accomplish the work and success of the Black Press.”

California lawmakers on Monday OK’d exemptions to about two-dozen more professions including freelance still photographers, photojournalists, freelance writers, editors, and newspaper cartoonists, with certain restrictions to make sure they are not replacing current employees.

Related: California lawmakers OK more exemptions from labor law

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