CA Supreme Court creates havoc for language businesses
In May, 2018, the California Supreme Court ruled in the Dynamex decision that only workers who meet all three specified criteria can be classified as independent contractors. All other workers must be classified as employees, fundamentally changing the business model of translation and interpretation enterprises. The language industry has always relied on a workforce primarily comprised of independent contractors who are certified and work for various companies, so the impact of this court decision is significant.
The Association of Language Companies, a national trade association representing language services businesses in the United States, decided to try another tack to solve the problem which affects one-sixth of the nation’s economy. The ALC has convened the Leaders Forum on August 8, in Washington, to raise awareness of this issue and its impact on the language industry with policymakers. It will also serve as a strategizing forum for the industry with a focus on collectively and collaboratively brainstorming solutions to this rapidly developing issue.
International Contact, Inc. is a multilanguage communications agency located in Berkeley, CA that provides language communication services such as translation, interpretation, localization, language testing, etc. to businesses and government agencies. They decided to join in with the Association of Language Companies (ALC) to attend the Leaders Forum in Washington, D.C. on August 8th.
The Independent Contractor Classification issues continue to increase and impact the language services industry, as well as many others that rely in independent contractors. Being forced to classify workers as employees, adds more than 25% to the cost of translation and interpretation. Like other companies, International Contact must decide how to deal with this huge blow: pass the costs on to the clients or reduce it’s offerings. Some companies leaving the California market place altogether!
“We look forward to meeting our Representatives to inform them of the consequences that the California Supreme Court decision caused. We join the ALC in advocating to allow continued use of independent contractors, through intelligent laws that make sense in the knowledge industry,” said Carla Itzkowich, executive director of International Contact, Inc.
The language service industry helps others to communicate across linguistic and cultural barriers. Language service companies provide services from translation and interpretation, to localization and language training. Language service companies work with people and companies in many industry sectors—from medical to government, technology to legal, education to finance. Language service professionals can be found in hospitals, courts, schools and universities, government offices, and military bases.
Dynamex is appealing the ruling now. The truckers affected by the Dynamex decision have sued against the constitutionality of the law and it is expected that other industries will also be negatively affected.
The ALC is offering a Live Stream of morning portion the August 8 event.
More information on the event://languagepolicy.org/alc-washington-leaders-forum/