Judge Denies TRO to Freelance Journalists and Photographers Seeking Relief From California’s Controversial Independent Contractor Statute
As we wrote recently, organizations representing freelance journalists and photographers filed suit seeking to enjoin enforcement of California’s controversial independent contractor statute, AB 5, as to them.
While they are not the only ones challenging the new law, their suit is not off to a promising start.
While a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order (“TRO”) to enjoin AB 5 as it applies to independent truckers, U.S. District Court Judge Philip Gutierrez in Los Angeles denied the freelance journalists and photographers’ request for a TRO on January 3, 2020, criticizing them for waiting three months after the statute was passed before filing suit, which he said belied their claim that there was an emergency.
The ruling does not mean that the organizations representing the freelancers have lost their lawsuit, nor does it mean that Judge Gutierrez will not ultimately enjoin enforcement of AB 5 as to the freelancers. However, it appears that at least until a preliminary injunction hearing in March 2020, the statute will apply to them.