Forum for Translators: Article from TransPerfect SEO
Hi all --
As a former freelancer, now manager of many, I was intrigued by TransPerfect CEO Phil Shawe's op-end in Crain's NY Business. Shawe shares what he considers the downsides of California's AB5 law that aims to give independent contracts more of the rights of full-time workers. Shawe is particularly concerned about tenets of this law getting picked up in New York, TransPerfect's headquarters, and how it's not a good fit for translators who juggle work from multiple companies. One question: How would the new, required rights even be equitably split among multiple employers.
What are your thoughts?
Freelancer Manager in Midwest
While on its face it may seem that Shawe may be faux in his concern about the wellbeing of freelancers, this point strips me of any cynicism: "AB5 is effectively a regressive tax that punishes the little guy. The California legislature’s failure to consider this has vast potential to negatively impact workers and their families for years to come, an effect that would be just as devastating in New York."
Shawe and TransPerfect have been to battle for rank-and-file employees and freelancers in a few contexts--most notably in Delaware, where there has been an ongoing saga re: TransPerfect's sale to Shawe from his previous partner. Here again laws that do not work in the best interest of workers (and are abusive toward business owners in favor of cronyism) caused a ripple affect: TransPerfect moved its incorporation to Nevada: https://news.bloomberglaw.com/corporate-governance/insight-the-state-of-incorporations-shady-state-of-affairs
As a freelancer, I would be loathe to see something like AB5 spread. Sure, if a company is incorrectly claiming workers are freelancers, that should be corrected. But the role of freelancers is important, and my ability to freelance is critical. Bad actors should not mean the eradication of this vital employment context.
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