There is currently a bill sitting at the New York State Senate's office that could impact thousands of New Yorkers, potentially even causing them to lose their jobs.
This law is meant to effectively abolish thousands of independent contractor jobs, and re-establish these positions as employees. The way the bill is written, it will affect Uber, Lyft, and Amazon drivers, travel agents, realtors, direct sales and MLM workers, online teaching companies, and even the seamstress who creates clothing for boutiques or the baker who makes specialty cookies for a restaurant.
What would it mean to be an employee vs. and independent contractor?
Employees tend to receive benefit packages. These packages usually include paid vacation time, health benefits, and employer contribution to taxes. Likewise, an independent contractor is responsible for a self-employment tax and their own health insurance.
Why is this NOT a good thing?
People choose to be independent contractors, as there are many perks to the job that can't be given as a traditional employee. They can choose their own hours, often set their own rates, and take time off as desired without consequences or fear of losing their job.
As a general rule, most independent contractors DO NOT want this change. It will force them to become employees, and there will certainly be more rules to follow, or they may even lose their job.
Think about this: You work for an MLM company, like Avon. You love their products, but you only sell $300 worth of products a month. It isn't your full time gig, and you do it as a hobby. You may even do it just so you can get the discounts on products you want. Now say this law is passed... you are only bringing in $300 a month. Will that be worth it to Avon to pay you a benefits package, health insurance, taxes, and workers compensation insurance for you? No, probably not. They will have a few different options: they could require a certain amount of sales per month in order to keep you as an employee, or they could put restrictions on your work hours, place of work, etc. They could also lower your commissions.
They could also STOP WORKING WITH PEOPLE in NYS
Don't think it could happen? Think again.
VIPKID, the leader in the ESL industry, which employs almost 100k teachers in the United States, recently posted this notice:
"At this time" they are still working with teachers that are currently there, but that is not a definite answer, and thousands of teachers in California are terrified that their jobs will be eliminated in the future. In addition, if you are in California and were planning on working for VIPKID, as of December they will not hire you. This eliminated an opportunity for MANY Californians.
And it's not just VIPKID....other ESL companies have pulled away from California, at least temporarily.
WHO will this impact?
In order for it to NOT affect you, your job must meet ALL of the criteria:
(i) the individual is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for performance of the work and in fact
(ii) the individual performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity's business; and (iii) the individual is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as that involved in the work performed.
*Your job doesn't tell you what to do, and they don't care about your performance
*You do something outside of the main purpose of the business (You work for Beachbody, but as a plumber, for example).
does this apply to you????
If you, or even someone you care about, works as an independent contractor in any of these industries, PLEASE VOTE NAY.
Disney agents (with independent contractor status)
Lawyers (who don't have their own firms)
...and the list goes on.
What can I do?
This bill is in its early stages. The sooner you speak up- the better!
1. Vote NAY on this bill here
2. If you are in New York, email your senator here
3. Share this post with your friends. This bill is literally NOT being talked about. I've even heard people say "this doesn't apply to me." Guess what? If you are an independent contractor, and what you do is the main purpose of the job...IT APPLIES TO YOU. I have spoken with SEVERAL senate offices, including the sponsoring office of the bill.... I have spoken with the NYS Department of Labor. THIS APPLIES TO YOU.
Jillian Shanahan is an online job coach, mentor, and teacher.