The California Coalition of Travel Organizations (CCTO) and the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) are asking all travel professionals to urge California Governor Gavin Newsom to sign AB 5, a bill that would redefine how independent contractors are defined in the state, into law. Newsom has until October 13 to act on the bill, which was passed by the state’s Assembly and Senate this week with an exemption for travel advisors intact; possible actions could include signing the bill into law, vetoing it or letting it pass without action. He has reportedly expressed support for the legislation.
“If the Governor signs AB5 into law, the Borello criteria and other specific factors set forth in the measure will be utilized for the determination of an individual as an employee or an independent contractor for travel agent services provided by persons regulated by the Attorney General under the Seller of Travel law as well as persons who are sellers of travel and are exempt from registration under that law,” the CCTO said in a statement provided to Luxury Travel Advisor. “This provision is essential to the travel industry.”
Advisors can take action by visiting ASTA’s grassroots portal at www.asta.org.
Travel advisors were added to the Professional Services exemption shortly before Labor Day following an intensive grassroots campaign by the CCTO, ASTA and California travel advisors and travel agencies. Two hundred and thirty people participated in a joint lobbying day, while 2,752 people called or emailed legislators through ASTA’s advocacy portal.
As previously written, the bill had threatened the independent contractor model for travel advisors in California, requiring California travel agencies to convert their independent contractors to full-time employees – something that a majority of both independent contractors and agency owners said that they would not do.
The exemption means that independent travel advisors in California will be covered under the preexisting standard, so long as they are in compliance with the California Seller of Travel law, either by registering or qualifying for the exemption from the registration requirement.
Travel advisors can contact Governor Newsom via the portal at www.asta.org.