Comment from Jennifer Singer

In a year with a pandemic, record high unemployment and, for me, Covid-related heart failure, I made more money than I did last year. How? By being an independent contractor. While my W2 colleagues were furloughed and later, laid off, I shifted the focus of my writing business and ensured that my multiple streams of income continued to keep my cash flow up. I kept my healthcare, which I buy on the ACA, and thank goodness, because my hospital bills would otherwise total nearly $175,000. Flexibility allowed me to take time off after pacemaker surgery and adjust my schedule to how I’m feeling on any particular day. (I can write at 4 am and sleep at 2 pm, as long as I get the job done.) Best of all, I don’t have to persuade a company to hire a 53-year-old with a heart condition. That’s why so many people over 50 freelance in the first place: the W2 jobs with comparable pay aren’t out there.

There are other ways to address worker misclassification, and shoehorning dozens and dozens of different kinds of independent contractor of varying levels of skill and education into one, 20th century, 9 to 5-based mold isn’t it. Rather, it eliminates work–our businesses–when we need it most. As a result, I support the U.S. Department of Labor’s efforts to protect our current classification by suggesting the new rule for independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Comment ID: WHD-2020-0007-1553 | 26-Oct-20

Categorized under Flexibility, Health, Independence

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