freelance nation

the law of the changing landscape

Law of the Land.jpgPaloma Kennedy Law; THE JILLS OF ALL TRADES , laws freelancing, gig economy legal services, lawyer

Our JILLS have great things to say and we're so happy to share it! 

Paloma Kennedy Law; THE JILLS OF ALL TRADES , legal services, lawyer

In this post, Paloma Kenney, JILLS Member and Attorney and Principal at Kenney Law LLC discusses the explosion of the Freelance Economy and the legal and legislative conundrum this future of work is having in the U.S.  

"Legislative Changes to Transform the Corporate Gig Economy Leaving Some Workers Out in the Cold"

In May of 2017, an estimated 85% of workers had at least one side job, and, among them, 54% worked two. (1) A trend that's likely to continue; LinkedIn predicts that, by 2020, 43% of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers enabled in part by technology. (3) The desire to increase earnings or gain unique work experience helps drive the gig economy; and, for many young people, it's often a way to make ends meet. (4)

Paloma Kennedy Law; THE JILLS OF ALL TRADES , legal services, lawyer

The sudden explosion of the "side hustle" has, in some ways, made the gig economy the wild west of flexible employment. States lack dedicated laws to help govern and protect freelance workers many of whom lack benefits and health insurance. In response, many workers' groups are beginning to lobby for new tax legislation. (5) Earlier this year Washington introduced a bill that would require employers to pay into a benefit fund for independent contractors. Similarly, New York is beginning to introduce a ride-transaction fee for the same purpose. 

This new tax may be beneficial for gig workers "employed" by large umbrella corporations, such as Uber and Airbnb, who can afford to pay the tax and would be required by law to contribute to the fund; however, for those out on their own, there's only more uncertainty.

Will solo gig workers have the option or be forced to pay the tax/fee like a corporation in order to gain access to the larger benefit pool? Or will solo gig workers fall outside the tax/fee requirements leaving them to continue to fend for themselves as self-employed?  

Even if legislation is successfully passed, the new tax/fee may cause a widespread shift among those corporations already dipping their toe into the gig economy. Corporations may decrease their use of gig workers in an effort to avoid paying a tax similar to worker's compensation for a group of transient and often rotational workers. 

For example, if a corporation often hires giggers to write blog posts or modify their graphics, would that corporation simply begin to look internally for talented employees interested in garnering company-wide recognition for such a unique and visible project? 

One of the largest legal issues pertaining to the gig economy is worker classification. Dan Eaton from the San Diego Tribune argues that regardless of whether legislative changes are made on a state or federal level (a separate topic up for debate) lawmakers should resist making a classification that falls between employee and independent contractor. (6) He believes this change could cause a cascade of legal claims since workers already litigate for employee re-classification. Unfortunately, re-classification may be the only way a line can be drawn for tax or fee purposes.

Law of the Land.jpgPaloma Kennedy Law; THE JILLS OF ALL TRADES , laws freelancing, gig economy legal services, lawyer

The inability to classify solopreneurs, giggers, and freelancers has implications beyond employment taxes or benefit fund fees. For instance, reporting employment history and making sense of wages is key when filing for unemployment, renting apartments, purchasing a home, and applying for loans and credit cards. While Eaton may have good reason to warn against a third classification, it may be a necessary evil to help alleviate the uncertainty and inability that gig workers have in legitimizing their work for important applications and governmental purposes. 

Brian Chesky, Airbnb CEO and co-founder, hopes that the company will one day have created millions of new entrepreneurs worldwide. While the gig economy may at times appear to be a disorganized conglomerate of individuals all seeking to provide a unique, on-demand service, it's thoughts like Chesky's that may eventually transform the traditional definition of entrepreneur. For many, entrepreneur still connotes an individual that raises money, headquarters in a physical location, and helps create jobs for the local economy.

Chesky's vision, along with the millions of individuals inventing their own positions, expands this definition to include those who have never sought funding, but rather built their business from savings or pure sweat equity. It includes individuals who will never have a brick and mortar location beyond their home office and those who will never hire additional employees. One day soon the majority of workers will have a string of roles, proficiencies, and skills that follow their name in place of the traditional one-profession title. For most states, the law cannot evolve quick enough to resolve the complexity of fluid, non-standard employment sweeping the nation.

Reposted with permission by Paloma Kenney. Original link found here

JILLS SPOTLIGHT on Shaping What You Love Into Your Career

JILLS SPOTLIGHT on Shaping What You Love Into Your Career

Candice Wagener has always loved writing since her early years in elementary school to her current experiences as a freelance writer, journalist, and researcher.  She also loves making things from scratch - baking yummy treats, making healthy snacks, and creating homemade sugar scrubs and bath salts. And when time manages to offer her a moment of reprieve you might even find Candice sewing!

Our Founding Mothers & the United State of Women

We Didn’t Set Out to Be Entrepreneurs. Why Steadying the Scales of Work-Life Balance Compelled Two Women to StartUp.

Megan and I did not necessarily set out to be entrepreneurs.

Megan build an amazing career in fashion and design, climbed the corporate ladder to executive positions in prestigious organizations, shaped brands that changed an industry, traveled the world, was granted patents, was featured on Oprah, made movies, and even dreamed up experiential cruise ship voyages. She earned a top salary, and was beloved by her staff and colleagues. Her nurturing and generous spirit extended through her leadership where she taught many, especially women, to fully embrace the ampersand and be powerful & feminine, direct & kind, humorous & focused, collaborative & independent.

As life changed, as it’s so apt to do, Megan did too.

Children grew, relocations happened, new interests developed. There was downsizing. And Megan found herself contemplative and eager for a brand new dress to wear, one that could bring her closer to a work-life balance so she could soak up more time with her husband, 3 teenaged children, and her extended family living in different states.  She eventually styled her own independent and successful brand strategy and design consultancy business, and after nearly 30 years of leading multimillion dollar projects and being 'traditionally' employed, Megan was now using her talents and skills so she could work when she wanted, how she wanted, and on projects that mattered to her. A flexible schedule with a variety of projects and hand-picked clients suited her as an encore career.

My career story was much more of an 'adapt and go' kind of set-up from the beginning. I loved to teach, I was good at it, and I used it to satisfy my taste for travel, spending the early part of my career in both the Middle East and Europe.  When I moved to the US from Canada, I found myself in Austin, TX where I decided to redirect my talents for teaching and writing to an educational publishing company instead of the classroom, and exchange my evenings of grading papers for night classes to earn my massage therapy license - something I’d wanted to do since high school.

But before long, I too, decided to step out of corporate and embark on what I know see as my portfolio career working as an independent: writing, teaching, and educating. Because besides being wearied by the corporate ladder that only one person can climb at a time, there also came pregnancies that were tougher than imagined, relocations, and superhero mom and dad manoeuvres to ensure one of us was always home with our boys - a portfolio career made sense to me.  There just wasn’t a name for it then.

Together, Megan and I have a very unique 360 degree view of work. We know both sides of being an independent and working in corporate. We see the possibilities, opportunities, and struggles of both.  We know stay-at-home parenting, we know being working mothers. We’ve lived re-entry and are always re-entering so we can routinely adjust the work + life equation. Megan shattered glass ceilings. I stayed off the ladder. We know the merits and downfalls of each.

And we know the world of work is changing. And so do you. You’ve seen the statistics; read the headlines. 70% of us will work freelance in the next 10 years.  Lifetime employment is over. The gig economy is the new economy.  It’s a Freelance Nation. Our work will come from our alliances, not recruiters, and not employers.

So no, we didn’t necessarily set out to be entrepreneurs.

But after nearly 30 combined years of trying to steady the scales of work-life balance, we’re compelled to be. 

We’re turning directly to the problems felt by both the independents and the hiring clients in this gig economy and creating a solution.  And it is our combined 360 degree view, and our lifetime of experiences that make us uniquely qualified to take on the challenge. We’ve lived the problems, see a path to a solution,  and know it’s time for us to step up and lead a workforce revolution.

Join us on our journey.  

Because we know in our core that when women come together,  link arms, and lift each other up we have the power to change everything.