Now is the right time to become an American Federation of Musicians member. From ragtime to rap, from the early phonograph to today's digital recordings, the AFM has been there for its members. And now there are more benefits available to AFM members than ever before, including a multi-million dollar pension fund, excellent contract protection, instrument and travelers insurance, work referral programs and access to licensed booking agents to keep you working.
As an AFM member, you are part of a membership of more than 80,000 musicians. Experience has proven that collective activity on behalf of individuals with similar interests is the most effective way to achieve a goal. The AFM can negotiate agreements and administer contracts, procure valuable benefits and achieve legislative goals. A single musician has no such power.
The AFM has a proud history of managing change rather than being victimized by it. We find strength in adversity, and when the going gets tough, we get creative - all on your behalf.
Like the industry, the AFM is also changing and evolving, and its policies and programs will move in new directions dictated by its members. As a member, you will determine these directions through your interest and involvement. Your membership card will be your key to participation in governing your union, keeping it responsive to your needs and enabling it to serve you better. To become a member now, visit www.afm.org/join.
October 1, 2020IM -
California’s music community received a major victory in early September when Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 2257 (AB2257) into law. The law, which is an amendment of California’s “Gig Economy” Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) from last year, provides protections for workers against misclassification.
Enactment of AB2257 allows music professionals to follow the Borello test (as opposed to the Dynamex or ABC tests) to determine employment classification for both live performances and studio recordings. The law fixes the AB5 law of 2019, which created a three-part “ABC” test to determine if workers are employees or independent contractors—and unintentionally penalized music professionals.
In January 2020, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) introduced AB2257 to provide relief to the vast majority of affected music professionals, including recording artists, musicians, composers, songwriters and vocalists. The new legislation also provides for unions to continue to organize the work of music professionals.
“AB 2257 represents a comprehensive framework for employment law that makes a clear distinction between employer-employee relationships and professionals that run their own independent businesses,” Gonzalez said. “AB2257 strikes a balance and continues to provide protections for workers against misclassification that had previously gone unchecked for decades under the old rules.”
The legislation, which passed the California Senate unanimously, was supported by the American Federation of Musicians (AFM), American Association of Independent Music (A2IM), Music Artists Coalition (MAC), Independent Music Professionals United (IMPU), International Allegiance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), the Recording Academy, Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA), Songwriters of North America (SONA) and Teamsters.
“This legislation ensures musicians and other creative workers can continue to live, create, and thrive in California,” the groups stated jointly. “California’s leaders promised efforts to protect workers with a bill that would not undermine or destabilize the state’s vital music economy. Today, they have kept that promise. AB2257 restores California’s leadership as a home to the creative arts and creates clear, fair rules of the road for freelance, union, and independent artists in the state.”