Chasing Work Shouldn’t Be So Hard
Over 74 million Americans now work as freelancers, independent contractors, and gig workers, rather than solely as employees of one company or organization. The workplace and workforce are changing rapidly, as workers demand more flexibility and freedom.
These arrangements allow workers to have greater control of their schedules and work. They get to decide when, with whom, and how much they work. They have the freedom to develop a relationship with more than one company, which can create additional financial security, since they don’t have to rely entirely on any one entity for their income. And the rise of new technologies has made it easier than ever to set up these arrangements.
Of course, independent contractors give up some upsides of being full-time employees: They don’t receive traditional benefits, like paid time off or access to an employers’ health insurance. But many people think this trade off is worth it. Parents who want the flexibility to schedule work time around their family lives, for example, often prefer work as an independent contractor to a typical 9-to-5 employee relationship.
Despite the growing needs and demands for flexible work arrangements, some policy leaders want to severely restrict when people can work as independent contractors, freelancers, and gig workers.
California’s AB 5 was the perfect example of how devastating this legislation can be. Originally aimed at gig economy workers, the legislation disqualified many freelancers and independent contractors from being able to make a living through their flexible employment opportunities.
Now, under a new rule change under the Fair Labor Standards Act, set to take effect on March 11, this could take effect nationwide.
This is the wrong direction for workers. Not all workers want 9-to-5 jobs. Many workers value flexibility, freedom, and empowerment over their time and schedule.
It’s time to fight for worker flexibility and freedom.