Comment from Krystle Dodge

As an independent contractor, I support this proposed rule as a more nuanced alternative than the outdated and overly restrictive ABC test. I want to remain an independent contractor for numerous reasons.

1. As a working mom, the flexibility I have from being my own boss is priceless. I’m able to be there for my son and balance work and family obligations as I see fit, without having to depend on getting an employer’s approval.
2. I make far more money freelancing full-time for multiple clients than I did in my full-time W2 job in the same field (in fact, it’s only my second full year as a full-time freelancer, and I’m on track to double what I made as someone else’s employee (working in the same field).
3. As a person who has struggled with trauma and mental illness, I am better able to stay mentally and emotionally healthy when I’m in control of my work and life. If I’m having a bad day, I e thr flexibility to change my routine in ways an employee does not.
4. Working for multiple clients offers more job security than having one employer on an at-will basis. I lost some work due to the pandemic but my overall workload actually increased due to getting new projects from new and existing clients. And, because I’m paid n6 the work/projects I do, that extra work meant more money (whereas many exploited W2 workers would have to do extra work without any additional compensation).
5. Although people tend to suggest that independent contractors exploited” because they don’t hey employer-sponsored health insurance, I disagree. I paid almost as much myself for family health insurance in my job with employer-sponsored health insurance as I do now without that “benefit ” and I van deduct that amount from my income taxes. (That’s because my last job with benefits paid only 50% of my premium and nothing toward dependents, and our small pool made for premiums that were way higher than equivalent plans offered for purchase on the exchange.) Just because you have access to employer-sponsored health insurance doesn’t mean that insurance is good or affordable.
6. Restricting an individual’s right to be their own boss and set their own services, rates, client agreements, hours, etc. Is, frankly, un-American. Denying American citizens this freedom is blatant overreach.
7. Part-time freelance work allowed me to develop my skills and portfolio while paying off my student loans in half the time, saving me thousands of dollars in interest. For ambitious newcomers to a field, freelancing can offer a huge career and earnings boost alongside a full-time job, between jobs or while shifting careers. Denying them this opportunity limits their career prospects and their future – and, unlike established independent contractors, they don’t have the means to just form a corporation. Sole proprietors must be allowed to offer their work as an independent contractor, or the you g, old, poor, disabled and other marginalized groups will be harmed.

I don’t want anyone to be exploited, but the assumption that all independent contractors are misclassified/exploited and that being a W2 employee automatically protects a worker from being exploited is simplistic, uneducated and unrealistic. I left a traditional job because independent contractor work was the right choice for me and my family. Every American deserves to have this choice available to them. I believe balanced, well thought out legislation can address real problems if misclassification and exploitation without the massive collateral damage caused by the overly strict ABC test.

Comment ID: WHD-2020-0007-0059 | 7-Oct-20

Categorized under Family, Flexibility, Health, Independence

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