California Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) went into effect January 1, 2020. The bill assumes all workers are employees, unless they pass the ABC test. Journalists were given some exemptions through the subsequent bill 2257.
California Assembly Bill 2257 removed the 35-article limit for journalists and exempted freelance writers, editors, content contributors and some others, under certain terms.
In December 2019, ASJA joined the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) to sue the state of California over AB5. The case is based in the First Amendment and is headed by the Pacific Legal Foundation. In July 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear ASJA vs. Becerra, ending this legal fight and leaving AB 2257 in place.