Exempt California Realtime Captioners and Sign Language Interpreters from AB 5

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Exempt California Realtime Captioners and Sign Language Interpreters from AB 5

This petition made change with 2,684 supporters!
AB5Info Coalition started this petition to The California State Legislature and

AB 5 threatens vital services for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing people!

The undersigned respectfully request that the California State Legislature and California Governor exempt Realtime Captioners and Sign Language Interpreters from AB 5.

AB 5 has dramatically changed the rules in California for independent contractors, applying a "one-size-fits-all" approach to California labor law.  This approach gives strong preference to employee status, even in industries where professionals overwhelmingly prefer to be independent contractors.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 mandates that “appropriate auxiliary aids and services” are provided to ensure “effective communication” for people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.  This includes Sign Language Interpreters and Realtime Captioners.  Requiring freelance Realtime Captioners and Sign Language Interpreters to convert to employee status may reduce the availability of these critical services.  The opportunities afforded by flexible freelance coverage, including the ability to contract with multiple referral agencies, allow for more assignments filled and more people receiving mandated ADA accommodations, including those with specialized needs.  This ADA protected class already suffers from a lack of qualified service providers.  Inducing additional scarcity obstructs the intent of the ADA, which seeks to expand access for people with hearing loss.  This in turn only serves to hurt the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing community by unnecessarily worsening the shortage of crucial services and diminishing their quality of life. 

Additionally, both of these honored professions are dominated by women and have long afforded women an upwardly mobile and flexible path, affording choices and opportunities to balance work and family.  AB 5 threatens to remove these advantages from their careers.

In short, these professionals want to be independent contractors. They prefer to work for themselves as freelancers and independent businesses, setting rates and hours, choosing assignments, creating their own schedules, and essentially controlling their destinies.  This also affords advantageous fulfillment of the ADA by allowing flexibility in coverage options and the ability to work their own schedules for multiple entities and for themselves.

Please add Realtime Captioners and Sign Language Interpreters who help the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing community to the list of AB 5 exemptions.

For more info: www.ab5info.com

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