Posts tagged Freelancers

    Reclassifiying Rhode Island’s independent workforce could cost the state millions

    May 25, 2023 // Actual instances of misclassification are already addressed by existing laws. And if workers desire to obtain benefits, health care, or otherwise, they need not be traditional employees to do so. To prevent forced misclassification in Rhode Island, lawmakers should propose reforms like portable benefits to allow workers to maintain their independence yet apply for benefits as needed. Utah just pioneered this reform to allow worker benefits to follow workers, not employers. With a portable benefits system in place, forced reclassification efforts like SB 430 can be defeated. As of December 2022, 27 percent — or 85,116 self-employed gig workers — of Rhode Island’s small business workforce engages in independent contract work. That should be celebrated, not undone by misguided policymaking that seeks to correct a non-problem.

    It’s a Gloomy Outlook for Jobs Under Biden. Here’s the Formula to Change That.

    May 19, 2023 // For the sake of personal and societal happiness, for the sake of the financial well-being of American families, for the sake of solving America’s dire fiscal situation, and for the sake of preserving the foundation of American society, policymakers need to recognize the value and rewards of work. By protecting individuals’ rights to pursue the type of work and compensation that is best for them, expanding alternative education and job-training opportunities, and not forcing workers into unions, policymakers can expand opportunities for people to achieve meaningful and rewarding work. Work truly affects every aspect of American life. Our economy, our personal financial and physical well-being, our nation’s fiscal sustainability, and even our national security depend on it.

    Opinion: American workers face war on right to earn a living

    May 16, 2023 // The war on independent work harms the most vulnerable in society. We’ve seen it play out in California, with countless stories of livelihoods destroyed. It is no surprise, then, that hundreds of economists, as well as the California NAACP, Black Chamber of Commerce, and Hispanic Chamber of Commerce opposed efforts to limit independent work. With an estimated 50 percent of the nation’s Latino community and 40 percent of the black community engaged in independent work, a national effort to limit these arrangements could put at risk the livelihoods and net income of 20 million workers from these communities.

    Opinion: Julie Su Keeps Failing Up, and Biden Doesn’t Care

    April 10, 2023 // How in the world did Julie Su get nominated to run the federal Department of Labor? Su is a former civil rights attorney, former head of the California Department of Labor under Gov. Gavin Newsom, and head of California’s Department of Labor Standards Enforcement under former Gov. Jerry Brown. She was deputy director of the federal DOL and now is acting director as she awaits a tough Senate confirmation in the next few months. I had immediately thought that the Peter Principle might explain it. Coined by Canadian sociologist Laurence Peter in his 1968 book of the same name, it postulates that the tendency in all organizations is for “every employee to rise in the hierarchy through promotion until they reach a level of respective incompetence,” as Investopedia put it. But that surely can’t explain Su, who already reached that level in her previous employment. Investopedia also mentioned the Dilbert Principle, named after the comic strip: that big organizations promote people precisely because of their incompetence. In other words, they promote them to get them out of the way. Su was California’s top labor official and ultimately responsible for the Employment Development Department when a major scandal rocked that unemployment insurance–disbursing bureau. “California has given away at least $20 billion to criminals in the form of fraudulent unemployment benefits, state officials said Monday, confirming a number smaller than originally feared but one that still accounts for more than 11 percent of all benefits paid since the start of the pandemic,” according to a 2021 Los Angeles Times report.

    Biden’s ‘nightmare’ Labor nominee under fire from small businesses, contract workers

    April 5, 2023 // "As the chief enforcer of AB 5, Julie Su was a nightmare for freelancers and small businesses in California. She has no business being Labor Secretary after her track of failure," said Freelancers Against AB 5 founder Karen Anderson. Wes Snyder, the owner of a FASTSIGNS franchise in Arizona, criticized Su’s stance on franchise liability. "This business model gives anyone the opportunity to experience the transformative power of entrepreneurship while strengthening their local communities," he said. "Julie Su wants to rob us of this opportunity – she will turn the American dream into the American nightmare."

    Opinion: Biden Labor Nominee Julie Su is a Threat to Independent Contractors and Freelancers Nationwide

    March 2, 2023 // Su, who is currently serving as Deputy Labor Secretary, has a demonstrated record of mismanagement of taxpayer resources and will wage war on the nearly 60 million Americans that engage in freelance work. Before DOL, Su worked as California Labor Secretary. Under Su’s scandal-tarred watch, California’s unemployment system paid out over $11 billion in fraudulent claims, totaling 10 percent of all benefits paid. Estimates show that a further $19 billion in claims were improperly distributed. An audit spurred by Su’s failed leadership showed that her work was a “high-risk issue” and “inefficient.” Su will also raise your taxes. Su will likely push a national version (such as the PRO Act) of AB5 if confirmed, breaking Biden’s pledge not to raise taxes on Americans making less than $400,000 per year.

    Upwork Report: Freelancers Make Up 39% Of U.S. Workforce

    January 6, 2023 // Upwork, a freelance marketplace, recently released its annual Freelance Forward survey. Their survey is considered “the most comprehensive study of the U.S. independent workforce.” Their 2022 report, released last month, says more American workers are seeking independent contract work “to find greater professional fulfillment, flexibility and financial stability, and a new approach to managing their career trajectory.”

    Assembly Bill 5 is still wreaking havoc in California and across the country

    October 24, 2022 // If you needed proof that AB 5 was a flawed piece of legislation from the very beginning, consider the fact that while the rules for who AB 5 applies to are a mere 325 words, they’re followed by almost 7,000 words worth of carveouts. While a 2020 Proposition which rolled back AB 5 with respect to app-based drivers was recently declared unconstitutional, other exceptions put in place by the legislature remain. As a result, politically-connected professions, like lawyers, doctors, and accountants are exempted from AB 5’s onerous requirements. Independent truckers, however, are not among these lucky carve outs, and the state is beginning to feel the consequences. Throughout the United States, approximately 350,000 truck drivers make a living as independent owner-operators—they own their own vehicles and haul loads as contractors for carriers.

    Independent Contracting – Proposed Department of Labor Rule

    October 19, 2022 // The Biden Department of Labor (DOL) proposed a new independent contractor rule on October 11, 2022 to address what Secretary Walsh deems “misclassification” of workers. This would replace a current DOL rule from the Trump administration that went into effect in March 2021 – a rule which the Biden administration improperly attempted to rescind that provided clarity to the “economic realities” test used to determine the employment status of workers under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

    Californifying the U.S. Labor Market

    August 23, 2022 // The Biden administration came into office with a sweeping union agenda embodied in the PRO Act, which would have rewritten key elements of decades-old American labor law. Stymied in Congress, however, the administration now seems likely to impose at least one component of that legislation on the workplace through a Department of Labor rule that would narrow the definition of an independent contractor in ways similar to California’s controversial AB5 law. Doing so would likely upset employment policies and practices at a vast array of businesses nationwide, just as has happened in the Golden State, where freelancers lost work because companies couldn’t afford to employ them full-time and truckers recently shut down a port to protest efforts to end their independent status. In the post-Covid world, workers are seeking more flexibility in income-earning. The Biden administration’s effort, which views the independent contractor almost exclusively as an exploited worker denied the benefits of full employment, is a step backward for individual workers—but a gift to unions.