Marisa Palmieri Shugrue, Freelance Writer and Editor (Ohio)
Marisa Palmieri Shugrue, Freelance Writer and Editor, Ohio
Marisa Palmieri Shugrue is a Cleveland-based freelance writer and editor. She chose to become an independent contractor in 2018 for the flexibility and freedom to be available when her daughters got home from school. She also wanted the freedom to choose the clients she worked with. As wife to an Ohio Army National Guardsman, her husband is often called away from home for days, weeks or months at a time. He’s currently deployed to the Middle East for a year. As a result, her household responsibilities and childcare needs change quickly. Many military spouses are in a similar situation. A recent study on military spouses shows a quarter of them are or have been self-employed, and nearly two-thirds of that group are freelancers or independent contractors. The top reason for choosing this career type, the study says, is flexibility. Military spouses need careers that ebb and flow with their families’ demands.
“I wish to remain properly classified as an independent contractor so I can adapt my career to my family’s needs,” Marisa explains. “It’s wrong to misclassify me as an employee. The proposed Department of Labor regulation, which uses six factors to determine employee or independent contractor status, relies heavily on interpretation and will unfairly shift many legitimate independent contractors into employee status,” she warns. “This move is being done under the guise of ‘protecting workers,’ but frankly many of us are not ‘workers’ and we don’t need ‘protection.’ We are small business owners who do not want to be employees. We want the freedom that comes with freelancing. We are not being exploited or mistreated. Please do not approve this proposed rule. It would misclassify us as employees and interfere with our ability to make a flexible living.”