LOS ANGELES–California’s music industry announced an agreement has been reached with Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) and Majority Leader Ian C. Calderon (D-Whittier) on pending amendments to Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) that will provide relief to the vast majority of affected music professionals including recording artists, musicians, composers, songwriters and vocalists.
Upon the legislature’s reconvening, amendments will change prior language in AB5 that created unworkable obstacles for music professionals securing work.
Assemblywoman Gonzalez introduced legislation in January to continue working on the issues affecting musicians and a variety of other industries, following the passage of AB5 which established a three-part ABC test for determining employment status. The new language has been agreed upon by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), American Association of Independent Music (A2IM), Music Artists Coalition (MAC), Independent Music Professionals United (IMPU), Songwriters of North America (SONA), American Federation of Musicians (AFM), the Recording Academy, International Allegiance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) and Teamsters.
The language of the pending amendment states that most music professionals will once again be able to follow the Borello test (versus Dynamex or AB5) to determine employment classification for both live performances and studio recordings. The language also specifically provides for unions to continue to organize the work of recording artists, musicians, singers, and others, ensuring that current and future collective bargaining agreements will always govern in California.
Jordan Bromley on the Board of the Music Artists Coalition played a key role in advocating for independent artists and their rights, leading the negotiations on behalf of the music industry, and working with all interested unions to find consensus.
“I am proud to be a part of this amazing consensus. Having worked personally with every stakeholder in the process for the last year, I can say that each elected official, coalition, association, union and individual working on behalf of their constituency truly cared about not only the members they work to protect, but also our industry as a whole. This is a significant result that is critical to our industry’s success in today’s economy,” said Bromley.
“This amendment to AB5 is a testament to the commitment of all stakeholders’ to protect their individual constituents’ interests while assiduously working together towards a consensus solution for all,” said Dr. Richard James Burgess of the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM). “Many thanks are due to Jordan Bromley for leading the negotiations and to Assemblywoman Gonzalez and Majority Leader Calderon for protecting the livelihoods of California musicians.”
According to Ari Herstand, independent musician, best-selling author and artist advocate, this latest change provides valuable protections to California’s music industry. Herstand leads the newly formed Independent Music Professionals United (IMPU) coalition. IMPU met with lawmakers, created a petition that received over 185,000 signatures and actively worked on negotiating amendment language with all invested stakeholders.
“I had lots of sleepless nights to get musicians’ relief under AB5, but I’m happy we were able to come to an agreement,” says Ari Herstand. “As a songwriter and book author, I never thought that one of the most impactful things I’d ever have a hand in writing would be a law for the state of California. Life is funny sometimes.”
The agreement will allow all music business and creative relationships to succeed in the AB5 era.