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Governor Gavin Newsom

1303 10th St. Suite 1173

Sacramento, CA 95814


Sep. 11, 2019


Dear Governor Newsom,


The undersigned respectfully ask that you VETO ASSEMBLY BILL 5 until it has been amended to exempt interpreters and translators. 


While hair dressers, real estate agents, security brokers, accountants, doctors and lawyers, photographers, journalist and fishermen, among many, many others, have been exempted, interpreters and translators have not. 


We wish to continue to be classified as independent contractors and not employees for the following reasons:


• In the terms used in AB5, interpreters and translators go through “a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction and study…from an accredited university, college, or professional school, as distinguished from a general academic education.” 


• We typically work for dozens of clients, including language services companies, for very short periods of time for high-level events and projects that are of a complex and varied nature involving many linguists, in different cities and states throughout the USA.


• We are not the “gig economy” workers AB5 is designed to protect, but rather highly trained and skilled professionals with established professional standards to adequately perform our work. We have been working as independent contractors in our industry for 50+ years. The majority of us belong to international and national professional associations that set such standards; most of us are certified by state and federal governments; we operate as true entities and are corporations, LLCs and sole proprietor businesses. We have business licenses and promote ourselves publicly and work in a business-to-business capacity. 


• Our work end-product is strictly under our exclusive control and is protected by international and federal intellectual property rights, including the Berne Convention. 


• We choose when we wish to work, what we want to work on, how we will work and how we will prepare for such projects. We set and control our own rates, terms and conditions for each project and risk a financial loss.  We do not charge an hourly rate because we charge for the project including time and resources at our sole discretion that do not correspond to hours ‘present’ to deliver our end product. We charge for our knowledge and expertise. If not exempted by AB5 CA law will require us to be hourly employees, which we view as an untenable prospect.


• If we are not included in the list of exempted professionals our livelihoods will be affected, as we will no longer have control of our own work and projects or the professional end-product we provide. We will face logistically impossible challenges. We view this as a risk to our entire profession and its long-standing history. 


Please allow us the right to be independent contractors by including us in the list of professionals exempted from the Dynamex Ruling. 






The community of professional interpreters and translators

Members of professional associations such as:

The International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC)

The American Association of Language Specialists (TAALS)

The American Translators Association (ATA)

The Association of Independent Judiciary Interpreters of California (AIJIC)

The National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators (NAJIT)

The California Federation of Interpreters (CFI)