In Depth: Special ed, Workers rights, AB 5


Hal speaks with Cindy Evans, special education teacher for the Marin county school district about Marin County's special education classes which have been re-started in person in small, socially distanced groups. Evans explains how the in-person groups work, and how much of a difference they've made for local students dealing with learning challenges.

Director of CSUN Family Resource Center, Ivor Weiner, says that local school districts could have thought through the process a lot more thoroughly, to better serve those students who don't learn well independently.  He says he has implored the local districts to reassess the need for special education to be conducted in person, and he believes that with proper planning it can be done appropriately.


Angela Reddock-Wright joins Hal to discuss workers' rights and the changes that have occurred since the beginning of the pandemic. Reddock-Wright says that  the CARES act in March provided an extra $600 per week in unemployment benefits, but California didn't realize they would be socked with as many claims as they would be,  and the state is still behind on processing the massive amount of claims submitted.  

California's governor has added resources to try to get those  applications processed as soon as possible. Another question is what happens to employees who test positive for COVID-19. Reddock-Wright says that employers must make sure that the employees have time off and are able to quarantine for at least 14 days,  and under Federal and State laws the employees should be able to have paid time off for that purpose.

Reddock-Wright also says that for employees who have kids at home, under the Federal Cares act, employees are allowing employees to take time off to handle childcare issues while kids are being educated from home.


Ari Herstand, the founder of Independent Music Professionals United, joins Hal to talk about the challenges posed to musicians and other creative professionals, by the state's law AB5 which was intended to protect gig workers by classifying them as employees rather than independent contractors. That left those who would hire musicians compelled to furnish insurance, unemployment benefits and other required benefits before an artist could be hired.

Subsequently many of those employees wound up  either hiring out of state or not hiring musicians at all. Herstand and his coalition helped create an amendment to that law - AB2257. That amendment may be signed by the governor very soon.  It will go into effect immediately as soon as it is signed, and provide an exemption to AB5 for musicians.


We end with video of Herstand's latest composition "Retrospect."