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Friday, January 17, 2020

Journalist groups sue California over new freelancer law

Federal Court

By Marian Johns | Dec 31, 2019

P1010049

LOS ANGELES (Legal Newsline) – Two national professional organizations for freelance writers and visual journalists are challenging a recently enacted California law over allegations it places unlawful restrictions on their members' work.  

The American Society of Journalists and Authors Inc. (ASJA) and the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) filed a complaint Dec. 17 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California Western Division against California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, alleging violation of the First and 14th Amendments. 

The NPPA and ASJA allege in their complaint that California's newly enacted Assembly Bill 5 "singles out" their members, which include writers, editors, still photographers and visual journalists, "by drawing unconstitutional content-based distinctions about who can freelance." The plaintiffs claim the law limits "certain speakers to 35 submissions per client, per year" and precludes "some freelancers from making video recordings."

The plaintiffs seek to limit the professional services exemption under AB 5, an injunction and all other proper relief. They are represented by Caleb Trotter of the Pacific Legal Foundation in Sacramento, California, and James Manley of the Pacific Legal Foundation in Phoenix. 

U.S. District Court for the Central District of California Western Division case number 2:19-CV-10645

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U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

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