Webinar: AB 5 and You: How the ABC Test Impacts the California Entertainment Industry

This program offers 1 participatory MCLE credit. You must register in advance to participate.

Presented by the Entertainment and Sports Law Interest Group.

A newly effective California labor statute is already sending an unwanted disruption through the entertainment industry. In September of 2019, Governor Newsom signed AB5 into law, requiring employers to preemptively treat workers as employees rather than independent contractors. The aim of the legislation was to prevent large corporations (such as Uber and Lyft) from avoiding proper employment classification for their drivers or “gig’ workers. However, in drafting AB 5, the California Legislature seemingly forgot about the progenitor of the term “gig” work; the actors, singers, dancers, crew and other entertainment professionals who regularly utilize loan-out companies to provide their work.

This webinar will discuss the effect that AB 5 will have on the freelance economy and entertainment industry in California. In particular, the discussion will include the effects of AB 5 on the viability of loan out companies in the entertainment industry, the disproportionate effect on independent studios and production companies, and the California Legislature’s decision to carve out some entertainment professionals while explicitly including others.

Moderator: Jonathan Lurie

Gordon Firemark practices entertainment and media law in Los Angeles and is devoted to the representation of clients in film, television, theatre, and new media.  He helps creative industry professionals make deals that make sense. His practice also covers intellectual property, cyberspace, new media, business and corporate matters.

Mr. Firemark is frequently referred to as “The Podcast Lawyer,™” and is the author of The Podcast, Blog, & New Media Producers’ Legal Survival Guide.

A podcaster himself since 2009, he has produced and hosted “Entertainment Law Update”, a roundup of news and commentary about the field of entertainment law for artists, lawyers, and other industry professionals.

He holds a B.A. in Radio, Television and Film from the University of Oregon, and a J. D. from Southwestern University School of Law.  He teaches Entertainment Law at Columbia College Hollywood and Contracts at Pepperdine Law School. Before starting his own firm, he was a partner in The Business Affairs Group, and worked in the legal and business affairs departments at Hanna Barbera Productions and the MGM/UA Worldwide Television Group.

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