Senator Brian Jones Introduces Measure to Exempt Musicians & Music Industry Professionals from AB 5

Heavy-handed legislation last year threatens the original “gig” economy

Sacramento – State Senator Brian Jones (R-Santee) announced today he has introduced Senate Bill 881, a measure to exempt musicians and music industry professionals from Assembly Bill 5, which went into effect on January 1 of this year.

AB 5, by liberal Democrat Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher of San Diego, is forcing thousands of independent contractors to become formal employees of a business.  It has been a boon to union leaders but horrible for California’s economy, workers, and businesses.  AB 5 is particularly harmful to less traditional businesses, such as those owned by women and persons of color, who prior to AB 5 were working to get ahead in the California economy.

“Jazz musicians in the 1920’s coined the term ‘gig’ for a temporary or occasional show they would do, such as performing a few songs at a music festival, teaching a private music lesson, or producing a couple of songs for a client,” stated Senator Jones.  “Musicians and music industry professionals are clearly freelance occupations, yet under AB 5 for each ‘gig’ a musician or producer books, the hirer must add them to their payroll as an employee and start paying fees such as unemployment insurance.” 

Jones authored SB 881 at the request of local San Diego musicians.