Comment from Diane Bryne

As an independent contractor for more than a decade, I am writing in support of this new rule, a welcome alternative to disastrous laws like California’s AB5 and misguided pending federal legislation like the PRO Act, which astonishingly upholds the ABC test from nearly a century ago.

I formed my sole proprietorship in 1998, as a way to have more control over my career and pursue financial opportunities unavailable to me as an employee of a magazine. Though my company, I contribute freelance articles to 7 magazines and websites, just completed the English translation of a crucial tax and tariff booklet distributed globally to leading marine industry representatives, plus own a website where I earn advertising revenue plus hire freelancers to augment our daily coverage. No amount of money would ever persuade me to seek a traditional W2 job again. I have job stability and flexibility due to the number of clients I have earned. Equally significant, I have more money in my pocket each year, even after paying my own health insurance in full and business taxes to the state of New Jersey and the IRS, than I did when collecting a traditional paycheck. Even during the current economic crisis due to the pandemic, I am on pace to earn the same amount of money as I did last year.

I support the Department of Labor’s suggestions for the new rule for independent contractors under the Fair Labor Standards Act. As Secretary Scalia accurately wrote, “There are powerful reasons why some workers prefer to be independent, rather than accountable to a company as its employee.” I’ll give you mine: I would have been laid off in August 1998 had I not quit the month prior. The publishing company that owned the magazine where I worked was hemorrhaging money, so it was slashing and burning lines on its balance sheetlines that equated human beings and their salaries. My salary would have been a significant portion of what the company eliminated. Indeed, when I left in July, two junior editors were hired to replace meand they, along with another editor and two art department associates, were laid off the following month. Meanwhile, as an independent contractor, I have the FREEDOM and FLEXIBILITY to pursue other additional avenues of revenue when one client struggles financially.

It’s crucial that legislators listen to independent contractors like mewho overwhelming are commenting here in support of the proposal. California’s AB5, the federal PRO Act, and countless other state proposals would all take the United States backwards, to an era when the ballpoint pen and electric razors were new inventions. We need progression, not regression, to protect modern-day workers.

Comment ID: WHD-2020-0007-0213 | 21-Oct-20

Categorized under Flexibility, Independence

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