Comment from Jessica Fantz

As a former independent contractor (a web designer) – I am one of a number of professionals who have valued the benefits of being classified as an independent contractor – flexibility in hours and schedule, ability to take or decline assignments without fear of being terminated, ability to have multiple clients at a time – or not – to ensure income stability, a separation from traditional employer-employee status which enables more independence and enables a stronger bargaining position.

I recently took a full time position, in part out of fear of these impending laws which rely on a strict ABC test impacting my ability to earn a living as they have done in California.

I have seen many proposals for alternatives to forcing those who wish to remain independent into a traditional definition of employee, and these are worth considering. The government MUST recognize that for many people, that relationship is actually NOT beneficial. The structure of the work force has been changing, and tax and employment laws must adapt as well.

First, do no harm – the criteria the currently IRS uses works for ICs now, if enforced. Do not add in the harmful ABC test language that will threaten ICs who want to remain that way.

Second, I strongly urge looking into a mandate for providing access to some benefits of full time employment IF a contractor meets certain criteria, such as hours worked for a single employer, working on site, etc. Benefits such as health insurance, short term disability, paid family leave, and life insurance are things that have been very hard for IC’s to access independent of full time employment, and if the government is truly changing laws for the benefit of ICs – THIS is what can be provided to improve people’s lives. Whether this is something to be provided by the employer or subsidized by the government, ICs would be willing to pay into these benefits the same way we already pay self employment taxes, and social security. The ability to have affordable access to these benefits is what is lacking, NOT some outdated idea of what employment should look like.

Comment ID: WHD-2020-0007-1604 | 26-Oct-20

Categorized under Flexibility

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