A Vox-backed law causes Vox to lay off hundreds of freelancers

The demorats are spinning Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) as “labor protection” for freelance or independent contractors.

Back in May, Vox wholeheartedly supported AB5. As they wrote:

“The state Assembly passed a bill Wednesday that would make it harder for companies to label workers as independent contractors instead of employees, a common practice that has allowed businesses to skirt state and federal labor laws. The bill will now go to the state Senate.

Hundreds of thousands of independent contractors in California, ranging from Uber and Amazon drivers to manicurists and exotic dancers, would likely become employees under the bill.

That small status change is huge. These workers would suddenly get labor protections and benefits that all employees get, such as unemployment insurance, health care subsidies, paid parental leave, overtime pay, workers’ compensation, and a guaranteed $12 minimum hourly wage. It also means companies are fuming about the added cost.”

Read all about their endorsement of AB5 here.

How is that “labor protection” working out for Vox today? Excerpt from CNBC:

Hundreds of freelance writers at Vox Media, primarily those covering sports for the SB Nation site, will lose their jobs in the coming months as the company prepares for a California law to go into effect that will force companies to reclassify contractors in the state as employees.

“This is a bittersweet note of thanks to our California independent contractors,” John Ness, executive director of SB Nation, wrote in a post on Monday. “In 2020, we will move California’s team blogs from our established system with hundreds of contractors to a new one run by a team of new SB Nation employees.”

Sponsor of the bill, demorat Lorena Gonzalez is defending the bill. She even went off on Vox in a tweet thread calling them assh*les: “And go on to say they are asking those California freelancers to apply for full & part time jobs in California. Vox were assholes for not being clear & not classifying their workers correctly to begin with. But they are using AB5 to deflect anger towards CA. Give me a break.”

Keep it classy, assemblywomyn.


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MarkyMarkcogitoergosumantraTrailDust Recent comment authors
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Thank, DCG, you for sounding the alarm on this ridiculous legislation. And thank you for displaying the immediate results, even for the”socially concerned” Vox. As a private contractor, I can see this idea is wrong on every level. The cost of bringing in contractors goes through the roof, forcing companies to look to other means to meet their needs. And in California, what benefit is there even with the law, since California allows companies to fire employees for any reason at all, without prior warning. No, this law is an attack on basic liberties, making companies hire only hourly and… Read more »


Is Vox a valid news service? I’ve read some of their stuff recently that looked pretty “mainstream” — “influenced” by partisan progie peddlers like the AP. Are their hundreds of “contractors” (contributors) and their stories legit/vetted?


Can you say hoisted by their own petard?