Comment from Lisa Terry

I have been an independent contractor, writing about technology for business, for 27 years. Walking away from a W-2 to choose a 1099 model has allowed me to do the following:
Work from home to be there for my children after school back when working at home was a rarity.
Earn a much higher income than I did on staff, with the freedom to strive for however much I was willing to work to earn.
Choose clients I want to work with, and projects that interest me, and turn down the rest.
Set my own hours and scale them up and down according to the needs of my family.
Volunteer in my community and in my childrens co-op pre-school.
Take my chronically ill daughter to doctors appointments and treatments and still work full time without endangering my job.
Invest more of my income in my retirement in tax-advantaged accounts.
Continue to thrive in my career into my late 50s, an age where it can be difficult to find a staff position commensurate with my experience and current income thanks to ageism and a shrinking publishing industry.

I consider myself a small business owner and am happily and successfully independent. In fact, Ive been offered W-2 jobs by some clients over the years and turned them down.

Heres what I have NOT DONE:
Been exploited by my clients.
Had to get someones permission to take time off, go on vacation, change my work schedule, etc.
Taken any job away from a W-2 worker.
Collected unemployment. Whenever clients shut down a media property, within months I was able to fill the gap with work from others. As I recently watched many friends get laid off from their W-2 jobs, I was thankful that I dont experience the sudden, complete loss of income that W-2 workers do in corporate America.
Needed the protection or support of a union. I demand a higher wage for my experience, and my clients pay it.

Californias draconian AB5 harmed literally tens of thousands of working, successful professionals, none of whom received any positive result from AB5. More than one in three Americans freelanced in the past year, according to Freelancers Union, contributing $1 trillion to the annual economy: single moms, the disabled and chronically ill, older workers, families supplementing their incomes, and many more.

The fallout of Californias AB5 drove the need for a clean-up bill to expand its already numerous exemptions because of the devastation it caused. The ABC test contained in AB5 was developed nearly ninety years ago to address factory work. The nature of work has radically changed since then, and so must the law.

I believe the Department of Labors Economic Reality test is a much better standard for determining whether someone is an employee versus an independent contractor, and I support the use of this test, or the current IRS test, becoming a standard under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

Comment ID: WHD-2020-0007-0217 | 21-Oct-20

Categorized under Family, Flexibility, Retirement

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