In 2019 California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill No. 5 (AB-5) Worker Status: Employees and Independent Contractors. Targeting gig-economy ride-sharing platforms AB-5 requires employers to determine if a worker is in fact an employee and not misclassified as an independent contractor.

What was not predicted was the result AB-5 would have on the arts sector.

Historically, small non-profit arts organizations (SNPAOs) pay artists as contractors compensated less than hourly minimum wage. To bolster business operations and capacity to raise funds some SNPAOs become fiscally sponsored arts projects of arts fiscal sponsors. Prior to AB-5, arts projects under fiscal sponsorship were primarily run by project directors and artists working as independent contractors. However, to comply with AB-5 some arts fiscal sponsors have converted independent contractors to employees.

Case Study Dissertation

In 2023, for my Doctoral Dissertation research, I conducted a four-phase sequential qualitative case study that examines the result of AB-5 compliance on arts fiscal sponsors and fiscally sponsored arts projects in San Francisco, California.  

Exploration of California worker status law compliance on arts fiscal sponsors and fiscally sponsored arts projects: A case study.pdf

Read a summary of my Theoretical Framework and visualization of my research findings. 


Interested in discussing AB-5? 

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