• Alysa Salzberg

Despite hard times, California’s AB5 law won’t be lifted

In January, the State of California’s controversial law AB5 went into effect. Ostensibly created to protect workers, the law has created confusion and major issues for professionals like freelance translators and interpreters.


Now, with the coronavirus pandemic having changed all of our lives, those opposed to the law are hoping it will at least be temporarily suspended. After all, with unemployment on the rise and many freelancers willing and able to work, it would help the state reduce unemployment benefits. And of course, right now a number of freelancers, including translators and interpreters, could play a vital role in helping others stay safe.


From translating important medical information and instructions, to interpreting for patients and doctors at the heart of the COVID-19 crisis, to other services we may not immediately think about, like being able to interpret the last words of a dying loved one, translators and interpreters are crucial in this challenging time.


Despite these logical arguments, for the moment, California governor Gavin Newsom has refused to amend or suspend AB5, leaving the state’s freelance translators and interpreters unable to help others, or themselves.


Read on to learn more about the decision to maintain AB5.



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