“Freelance journalists in California will either be out of work or face limitations on how much content they can produce,” CNN warned. Independent truckers shut down the Los Angeles-Long Beach port to protest the same disastrous law and are leaving California.
The bill known as AB5 which restricts freelance employment so severely that it’s practically a ban on freelance workers has been blamed for contributing to the mass exodus with California unprecedentedly losing population every year that the law has been in effect.
But California’s bad ideas rarely stay inside its borders.
In 2021, House Democrats under San Francisco’s Pelosi passed the PRO Act which would crush freelance workers nationwide. In his state of the union, Biden urged passing, “the PRO Act because workers have a right to form a union.” Workers already have a right to form a union. The PRO Act eliminates the right of workers to be able to work independently of employers and unions.
To many Democrats who depend heavily on union cash and seek to control the economy by herding workers into serving the large businesses they regulate and receive donations from, freelance workers are a problem. And regulating them out of existence by reclassifying them as employees through the ‘ABC Test’, which is at the heart of AB5 and the PRO Act, is the answer.
Now, Biden has nominated Julie Su, an architect of AB5’s war on freelance workers, as Secretary of Labor. When Biden pushed Su, California’s Labor Secretary, as Deputy Labor Secretary, Republicans challenged her on the $31 billion in pandemic fraud, the worst in the nation, and her ruthless war on freelance workers that devastated workers and businesses.
“If you apply that test nationally, as President Biden said he is committed to doing, you would forcefully reclassify as many as half of all independent contractors, if not more, and jeopardize more than 85 percent of our nation’s GDP,” Senator Tim Scott had challenged Su.
Rep. Kevin Kiley, R-Calif., accused Su of overseeing “one of the largest cases of unemployment insurance fraud” during the pandemic and of implementing some of the “most destructive labor policies in decades” during her time as California’s labor secretary.
California congressional representatives warned that Su’s AB5 has “cost tens of thousands of freelance workers and independent contractors their economic livelihoods.”
As the Labor Secretary, Su will be in a position to help Biden kill millions of jobs. Eliminating freelance workers was one of Biden’s campaign promises to unions. And he’s delivering.
“States like California have already paved the way by adopting a clearer, simpler, and stronger three-prong ‘ABC test’ to distinguish employees from independent contractors,” his campaign had promised. “As president, Biden will work with Congress to establish a federal standard modeled on the ABC test for all labor, employment, and tax laws.”
What does that ‘ABC Test’ mean in practice?
As the Morgan Lewis law firm described, “the PRO Act’s three-part test would eliminate ‘independent contractor’ status for everyone who provides services deemed part of a company’s ‘usual’ business, or is subject to the employer’s ‘control and direction,’ or is not associated with an independent ‘trade, occupation, profession, or business.’”
“Meeting those standards is virtually impossible. Once reclassified, most independent contractors would either be forced into traditional employment under terms likely less favorable than freelancing or be out of that work altogether,” an op-ed at the Iowa Gazette predicted.
“Such reclassification means that overnight, it would become illegal for many of us independent contractors to continue earning a living the way we do today — upending the entire idea of what has been a legal way to earn income since the very founding of the United States,” Fight for Freelancers argued.
“If this legislation passes as-is, it will instead destroy my livelihood by making all my work contracts illegal,” Bonnie Kristian, a national journalist, wrote.
While the PRO Act would face congressional challenges, the Biden administration has been trying to use the Labor Department to create a backdoor assault on freelance workers by reclassifying the status of independent contractors under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
That’s where Julie Su will come in.
In California, Julie Su abused her power to terrorize small businesses and drive freelancers out of work, warning that she would be “doing investigations and audits. That will be on both wages and tax because AB 5 expands the ABC test that way. So we will be doing investigations and audits so that those who want to comply with the need to reclassify can do so and those who don’t will understand that’s not the kind of economy we want in California. So we can issue citations and demand both wages and taxes and other kinds of penalties.”
Su also made the ultimate agenda of mandatory unionization behind the freelance worker ban clear by claiming that “there are some workers who have been excluded from federal protections and California has a really unique opportunity to bring them into the fold and think about ensuring that they have true union protection working side by side with labor and businesses who are interested in doing that.”
Su’s message was the familiar one of mobsters arriving on the doorsteps of small businesses and warning them that unless they hire their approved workers, bad things will happen.
“When we talk about creating a voice for workers, that it’s really a voice premised on union — like a genuine right to a union on the job. If we can accomplish something, it will set a model for the country,” she emphasized. That’s why she’s been chosen to head the Labor Department.
Under Su, the Labor Department will move forward with forcibly reclassifying freelance workers while auditing and fining anyone who resists. This campaign of terror that began in California will go nationwide. Independent truckers will go out of business leading to further grocery shortages and a collapsing supply chain. Countless other professions will also fall apart.
Julie Su has used California’s Labor Department to oversee both unprecedented corruption and abuses, with billions in pandemic payments made to criminals and scammers while people starved, and she has destroyed the economic security and livelihoods of the state’s workers.
In 2021, the Senate voted to confirm Julie Su by a narrow 50-47 margin. Sens Manchin and Sinema both voted in favor. This time around will be the acid test. The economic survival of freelance workers and small businesses will hinge on the votes of Manchin and Sinema.
Manchin and Sinema have claimed that they reject the radical socialism enacted by the Biden administration. Sinema now claims to be an independent while Manchin has been backing away from his Democrat party status. The vote to confirm a leader in the war on freelance workers and small businesses will show whether they stand with American workers or their oppressors.