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California Governor Signs Legislation Exempting Travel Advisors from Dynamex

California Governor Signs Legislation Exempting Travel Advisors from Dynamex

September 26, 2019

The California Coalition of Travel Organizations [CCTO], the American Society of Travel Advisors [ASTA] and the CCTO member organizations are pleased that California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 5 (A.B. 5) into law on September 18, 2019. This clarifies the determination of a travel advisor’s status as an independent contractor (IC) or an employee.

“A.B. 5 being signed into law is a huge success and will help ensure the student travel industry continues to thrive,” said Carylann Assante, CAE, Chief Executive Officer, SYTA and SYTA Youth Foundation. “Many thanks are owed to the various organizations and travel advisors who made their voices heard.”

“We are very pleased that Governor Newsom has signed this important legislation into law,” said Diane Embree, President, CCTO. “We also thank Assembly Member Gonzalez and the California Labor Federation for having reviewed the specific situation for California sellers of travel and adding this provision to A.B. 5.”

Embree added that the dedicated advocacy efforts of ASTA, CCTO coalition member organizations, and thousands of individual travel advisors have been essential to this outcome.

“Our member organizations are California chapters of the American Society of Travel Advisors, as well as United States Tour Operators Association, Student Youth Travel Association, Signature Travel Network, WESTA, Ensemble, PATH, Travel Leaders Network, and Virtuoso,” said Embree.

“As previously written, A.B. 5 threatened the business model of travel agencies in California that rely on ICs to sell travel, and securing an exemption for our industry was by far this biggest legislative challenge we have faced in recent memory,” said Zane Kerby, president & CEO, ASTA. “Thanks to the hard work of California ASTA members and allies like the California Coalition of Travel Organizations, the Professional Association of Travel Hosts and our consortia and host agency partners, massive disruption to our industry in California and beyond has been avoided. We applaud both their efforts and the California legislature for listening to our concerns and amending A.B. 5 accordingly. While we celebrate this win, ASTA is prepared to fight on behalf of our members in other states should similar bills arise.”

Before amendments were made to the bill in August, there were fears that A.B. 5 would have required travel advisor ICs to become full-time employees or terminate their business. A.B. 5 will take effect on January 1, 2020.

CCTO says that going forward, and retroactively as well, 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.

Courtesy of eSYTA.