How Does California AB5 Affect Contracts on Upwork?

It’s Not That Hard To Figure Out

The answer is… it depends. But the new law is not that hard to figure out, and many of the contractors on Upwork are not affected by the law.

AB5 redefines contractors more narrowly. It is trying to close a loophole that has allowed companies to classify as contractors people that should have the protections of regular employees. That definition can be summed up in three questions:

  1. Is the worker is free from the control and direction of the hirer in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for the performance of the work and in fact;
  2. Doe the worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business; and
  3. Is the worker customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation or business of the same nature as that involved in the work performed.

This prevents employers from classifying as contractors people that the employer (1) controls in regards to which hours are worked, and (2) uses to staff their primary business function. Also, contractors must (3) be engaged in an independently established trade. This means they have other clients, they market their services to the public, and they have an established business that provides the given services.


Who Is Exempt from AB5?

For example, as a software development contractor focusing on small businesses and entrepreneurs, I am clearly classified as a contractor under AB5. My clients don’t control my schedule or manner of meeting my contractual obligations. The small businesses that I service aren’t software development companies. My clients aren’t using Upwork to augment their regular staff. Software development isn’t my clients’ business, that is why they are hiring me! Thirdly, I have multiple clients and an established business offering software services.

Who Needs to Be Reclassified Under AB5?

On Upwork I occasionally see companies trying to augment their existing staff with a contractor. This is the sort of thing that may be covered by AB5. These employers can still advertise on Upwork, but they should get legal counsel before classifying people as contractors. Any employer that expects to control the hours of their workers, is trying to staff their main line of business, or isn’t hiring people with an established trade outside of the contract will should get legal advice before classifying people as contractors.



What Can SEO Do For My Local Business?

How Can I Set My Business Apart on the Web?

The key to local business used to be location. Where you were helped people find your business, it made it convenient to access, and your location said something about the credibility of your business. Now, all of that has moved online. The most popular way to find a business is a search on a mobile device. Leads are generated and many transactions are completed online. Where you appear in the search rankings is often your customers’ first impression of your credibility.

Search Engine Optimization

Good SEO is like moving your business to Main Street, to the nicest building, with a really nice lobby, and with a storefront that lets people know what is inside. Having a high search ranking conveys success and credibility, and gets the most clicks. People assume a high ranking is because your business is the most used, most successful, most reliable provider in your sector. SEO can help you rise in search results to increase both your visibility and your credibility.

Even though people often use search results as a ranking for the quality of businesses displayed, the search rankings are generated in a completely different way. Google, Yahoo, Bing, and anyone else scouring the web can’t measure the quality of goods, services, or customer experience of any business. All they can do is approximate quality by measuring how people respond to the website of the business and how people voluntarily leave feedback about a business. Search engines have complex algorithms to measure how people are responding to a website, and how many visits you have is only one factor. The fact is, if you are new, or your website is just low in the rankings, you won’t be able to rise in the rankings just by generating new visits. You have to pay attention to all the other elements of SEO to get your business to the top of the list.

Make Your Business Stand Out

SEO Pasadena

The good news is that SEO services are much cheaper than a high-rent brick and mortar location. By paying a professional to optimize your website and actively manage your web presence you can have that Main Street storefront for a fraction of the cost.

Your website may be great, but if people can’t find it, they can’t find you. Your business may be the best in your sector, but if people can’t find you, you are losing those customers to your competition.


You can do some things on your own to optimize your site, but it is a lot of things to learn, and it is a lot of work. Having a SEO expert optimize your internal linking structure, title tags, headers, meta description, and content can take that off your plate so you can focus on the core of your business. Contact us below to schedule a consultation about how Graf x Apps can start to make your website rise in the rankings and move your business from the back street to Main Street.