August 8, 2020

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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.

©2020 Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 8

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About this Author

Michael S. Kun, epstein becker green, los angeles, labor, employment
Member

Mr. Kun's practice includes:

  • Litigating more than six dozen class actions and collective actions in California, New York, Georgia and Maryland involving a variety of employment issues, including discrimination and wage-hour claims, and successfully defeating motions for class certification on such claims. The sizes of the putative classes have ranged from 75 to approximately 15,000 employees.

  • Litigating a wide variety of employment-related claims, including discrimination, harassment,...

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