Dear Member Colleagues,
This is an overdue update on the legislative work that AAPTI has been doing on your behalf in 2021/2022. We are constantly trying to overcome the obstacles that come our way, so that we may practice the profession that we all are passionate about. Below is a summary of what AAPTI has done thus far.
We achieved limited success with AB5 through AB2257 that allowed us to continue working as independent contractors and freelancers while meeting certain criteria established in the fix-it bill.
We’re not out of the woods yet, the ProAct poses a threat to independent contractors. AAPTI, through our lobbyist at Vega Public Affairs, LLC. (VPA), requested more clarity on what the purpose of implementing the ABC test into the bill, we contact the H.E.L.P. committee which is where the ProAct came to life.
We contacted each member via virtual meetings to both introduce AAPTI and to discuss our concerns on the following dates:
- March 22, 2021 - Senator Kaine
- March 22, 2021 - Senator Murkowski
- March 24, 2021 - Senator Murray
- March 31, 2021 - Senator Rosen
- March 31, 2021 - Senator Casey
We also met with the Latino Caucus on March 31, 2022
Our discussions with all members resulted in similar explanations and that was that the ProAct will not affect us because the purpose of the bill is to unionize those entities that have employees already. We asked, why then include the ABC test? Their response was that it is needed to classify those that are misclassified!
The consensus was that the ProAct will not pass the Senate because the Senators were too divided and held the majority was a “nay” vote. That does not stop it from coming up disguised in other bills.
That is why it is important to monitor all bills that reference independent contractors and freelancers, and any attempts to change the Labor Code. Vega Public Affairs, LLC offers this service to AAPTI as part of our contract.
AAPTI MEETS THE CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE
AAPTI and VPA met with the following legislators on the dates shown below. We introduce AAPTI as a translators and interpreters organization interested in legislative matters that impact our profession and our community. Assemblymembers and Senators welcomed us, and many ideas were exchanged in our conversations. These members were:
- September 14, 2021 - Meet and greet with Senator Leyve
- September 16, 2021 - Meet and greet with Senator Jones Senator Pan and Assemblymember Fong
- September 17, 2021- Meet and Greet with Assemblymember Gipson
- September 22, 2021 - Meet and Greet with Assemblymember Salas, Assemblymember Chen and Insurance Commissioner Office
- September 23, 2021 - Meet and Greet with Assemblymember McCarty, Assemblymember Mullin
- September 27, 2021 - Meet and Greet with Assemblymember Medina
- October 18, 2021 - Meet and Greet with Assemblymember Low
- October 19, 2021 - Meet and Greet with Senator Becker and Senator Bates
- October 20, 2021 - Meet and Greet with Assemblymember Flora
- January 11, 2021 - Meet and Greet with Senator Roth
- January 12, 2022 - Meet and Greet with Senator Hurtado and Senator Eggman
- March 16, 2022 - Meet and Greet with Senator Melendez
- March 24, 2022 - Meet and Greet with Senator Ochoa
- March 31, 2022 - Meet and Greet with Senator Min
CALIFORNIA INSURANCE COMMISSIONER’S OFFICE
We met with the Insurance Commissioner’s office on two occasions to discuss the issues within the Workers Compensation sector and the excessive and continuous use of non-certified individuals. We have hit a brick wall on this subject. They stated the following:
“CDI has investigated cases regarding interpreters but to our knowledge it was billing for services they did not provide or were not needed, which is a felony. AB 5 was passed, but the penalties are civil in nature (though they can be big penalties) and civil Labor Code violations are handled by the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). Perhaps this is an enforcement discussion best had with DIR.”
We will be following up with the DIR and the CDI to plan our next steps.
COURT REPORTERS BOARD OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS IN SACRAMENTO
AAPTI reached out to similar professions. On Friday May 20th, AAPTI board members Esther Hermida, Madeline Rios, and Angie Birchfield met in person with the Court Reporter Board State CEO to discuss the licensure of court reporters. Our takeaway from that productive and enlightening meeting is that we can succeed at maintaining control of our profession through new initiatives. This conversation was very encouraging. We believe it's important to maintain a connection with a profession we often share paths with.
ROUNDTABLE IN SACRAMENTO
On May 21, 2022, AAPTI met virtually with representatives of the ATA, CFI, NAJIT, CCHI, and NBCMI and other stakeholders to discuss concerns over the quality of remote interpreting, particularly when offshoring interpreting services. The majority agreed that for medical and legal matters, interpreting should be performed within the United States.
MEETING WITH THE GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS OFFICE FOR THE JUDICIAL COUNCIL
On Friday, June 24th we met with the Government Affairs representative to discuss the RFP, VRI in the courts and the Fee Schedule for Independent Contractors. It was a very open discussion, and we will be continuing our discussions as not all our questions were answered in the meeting. We requested more clarity on the intended use of the RFP’s and why were they requesting on-demand telephonic interpretation for spoken languages and VRI only for ASL and what kind of “interpreting” events were these “on demand” interpreters going to cover. We will be discussing this further in our next meeting.
AAPTI also mentioned that the courts are interpreting the fee schedule for independent contractors as “non-negotiable”. We would like to wait until our next meeting with them before we can give a conclusive answer to what we think since they appeared to be very amiable in reaching some conclusions.
Please stay tuned for further updates. We rely on our members’ dues to accomplish AAPTI goals and objectives. Without your support we cannot continue in our efforts in Sacramento.
Please remember to renew your membership if it has lapsed.
WE CAN’T STOP NOW. OUR MOMENTUM IS GROWING EVERYDAY!!