Amend AB1850: Protect Communication Access

CONTACT CA SENATE LEADERS NOW

Sign language interpreting & realtime captioning access is in grave danger! Help us protect our ADA rights!
ACT NOW!

Background & Latest Update

AB5 placed restrictions on how independent contractors can provide their services, decreasing the number of sign language interpreters and realtime captioners available. AB1850 is a clean-up bill to add professional exemptions to AB5. We want to add sign language interpreters and realtime captioners to AB1850 so that communication access for the deaf and hard of hearing community is protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

On June 11, 2020, the California Assembly passed AB1850 but did not honor requests to include a professional exemption for sign language interpreters and realtime captioners. Our last opportunity to amend AB1850 is in the California Senate. It is currently in the California Senate Labor Committee. Please contact members of the committee and high-ranking Senators to let them know our concerns.

How can I help?

Snail Mail & Online Submission!

Sending a physical letter by mail is the BEST way to get their attention. You can now submit a letter online!

Email

Email is not as effective as snail mail but BETTER than not writing at all.

Call

Calling can be effective but ONLY when respectful and at appropriate times.

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Why is snail mail the best method?

Every letter received by snail mail is opened, logged, and routed to the proper staffer. Download your letter template below and mail a copy to each of the following individuals.

Chair Jerry Hill & Honorable Members of the Senate Labor Committee

Senate Committee on Labor
1020 N Street, Room 545
Sacramento, CA 95814

Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins

President pro Tempore
State Capitol, Room 205
Sacramento, CA 95814

Honorable Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher

Assemblymember, 80th District
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0080

Governor Gavin Newsom

1303 10th Street, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
ATTN: Stuart Thompson, Chief Deputy Legislative Secretary

You can now submit your position letter online!

Create an account at the California Legislature Position Letter Portal at: https://calegislation.lc.ca.gov/Advocates/
Click Submit a Letter and search for AB1850. Select the Senate Labor Committee then on the next screen, "Oppose unless Amended" with the title "Amend AB1850 to include Sign Language Interpreters & Realtime Captioners!" and upload your letter there.

I prefer to email.

Emails to legislators are sometimes blocked and rarely opened. To be effective, they must be addressed to the right staffer. Download your letter template below then attach it as a file or copy and paste to send it the following email addresses.
Note: Governor Newsom will not accept email attachments so all CC’s to the Governor need to be sent by snail mail.

Address EMAIL TO

Senate Labor Committee Chair Jerry Hill, Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins:
Senator.Hill@senate.ca.gov
Senator.Atkins@senate.ca.gov

CC EMAIL TO

Senate Labor Committee Consultants: Gideon Baum, Alma Perez, Glenn Miles, Jake Ferrera Assistant: Martha Gutierrez Shubhangi Domokos, Legislative Assistant to Lorena Gonzalez; Assemblymember Anthony Rendon and George Wiley, Consultant; Cesar Diaz, Consultant; Stuart Thompson, Chief Deputy Legislative Secretary:
Gideon.Baum@sen.ca.gov
Alma.Perez@sen.ca.gov
Glenn.Miles@sen.ca.gov
Jake.Ferrera@sen.ca.gov
Martha.Gutierrez@sen.ca.gov
Shubhangi.Domokos@asm.ca.gov
Assemblymember.Rendon@assembly.ca.gov
George.Wiley@asm.ca.gov
Cesar.Diaz@sen.ca.gov
Stuart.Thompson@gov.ca.gov

What if I just want to call?

Calls are good but must be at right times and to the right people. It does not hurt to contact randomly but we want to be respectful of people's time to be effective as possible.

Right now, with the bill in the Senate, the most effective calls are to Senate Leader Toni Atkins and Senator Jerry Hill.

What should I say?

Here is a sample call script you can use:

Hello, I am calling about AB1850.

I firmly oppose this bill unless amended to include a professional services exemption for Sign Language Interpreters and Realtime Captioners.

They provide crucial ADA-mandated services to the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing community.

It is imperative that these individuals have meaningful, unrestricted access to these services.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Senate Labor Committee Chair Jerry Hill

Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins

Download a letter template.

Click one of the buttons below to download a letter template in Microsoft Word format that is appropriate for you. Open and edit the letter template as instructed then mail (preferable) or email it to the appropriate contacts.

If the downloads above do not work, you can copy the letter below in plain-text format. You will need to format it yourself for printing or email.
Look for arrows -> to know which lines to edit!

-> July XX, 2020

Senate Committee on Labor
1020 N Street, Room 545
Sacramento, CA 95814

RE: AB1850 (Gonzalez)– worker classification: Request for Amendment 

Dear Chair Hill and Honorable Members of the Senate Labor Committee:

	I am writing to express my opposition, unless amended, for Assembly Bill (AB) 1850. I am asking you to amend AB1850 to include Sign Language Interpreters and Realtime Captioners in the “professional services” exemption to AB5. 
->	I am a skilled professional Realtime Captioner or Sign Language interpreter. (OR) I am an individual who uses the services of Realtime Captioning and Sign Language Interpreting service providers. (OR) I support the ADA mandated right for the deaf and hard of hearing to have unfettered access to equal communication.
	Professional Realtime Captioners and Sign Language Interpreters are a small group of highly trained specialists who work directly with the deaf and hard of hearing (D/HH) community, providing legally mandated communication accommodations in daily life. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), people who are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing are entitled to the same access to public services that is provided to the general population. There is already a shortage of qualified personnel in these niche professions.
	In her public comments while presenting AB1850, the author, Assemblymember Gonzalez, cited EDD statistics which identified over 4,000 employee misclassification cases over the last five years related to spoken language interpreters. Realtime Captioners and Sign Language Interpreters are NOT in this category. D/HH providers are completely separate and distinct from spoken language interpreters. We ask you to recognize this distinction in considering our request.
	Historically, ADA providers to the D/HH community have primarily been independent contractors. That is the historical norm for these professions, in large part due to the random and unpredictable demand for services by clients. The “Borello” standard has worked well for these providers for many years and the “ABC” test does not suit itself to D/HH providers given the unique needs of this population. I am asking you to amend AB1850 to include Realtime Captioners and Sign Language Interpreters in a provision that would return D/HH providers back to the “Borello” test.
	Further, these professions are dominated by women, both as individuals and business owners. They have long afforded women upward mobility and flexibility to balance career and family, as well as a path to small business ownership. There is also a significant percentage of D/HH providers from the LGBTQ community. AB 5 threatens to further marginalize opportunities for women and LGBTQ individuals.
	I am asking you to amend AB1850 to include Sign Language Interpreters and Realtime Captioners as professional services. I will be in opposition to AB1850 unless you accept my request to amend the bill as outlined.

Sincerely,
-> Type your name here (and sign if printing)
-> Your Street Address
-> City,CA ZIP

cc: 	Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins
	Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon
	Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez
	Governor Gavin Newsom

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