1099, Companies, Freelancers, Health Care, Your rights: Presidential Election, Laws, etc.

On-Demand Economy’s Companies Need to Provide Job Benefits

You’ve probably heard of Uber, Airbnb and Handy before. These are just a few companies in the on-demand economy that have grown rapidly over these past few years. As a result of the increased demand, more and more freelancers are taking on multiple ‘on-demand gigs’, even stringing together multiple gigs to replace a full-time salary. While these jobs provide flexibility, one of the main drawbacks is lack of benefits. On-demand workers aren’t protected like their salaried counterparts.

In the On-Demand Economy, the need to improve job benefits and workers’ protection for self-employed workers and independent contractors is now being noticed. Recently, the labor group National Domestic Workers Association (NDWA) announced the “Good Work Code”, a pledge to help freelancers and improve their jobs with more transparency, better wages, and increased support. Twelve companies have now signed it, including DoorDash, Care.com and LeadGenius.

While more and more companies are joining this pledge and those similar to it, the largest ones have yet to make an effort, including Uber, Lyft and Handy. Time will tell if the increased pressure from other groups and on-demand companies, as well as support from political powers, will change their minds.

The Good Work Code is seen as a step in the right direction for on-demand workers. It addresses many of freelancers’ concerns and challenges but at the same time, also fails to make actionable steps to fix them. Their goal is to get politicians and companies talking about to fix this larger problem and more importantly, how to change it.

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Companies, Freelancers, Future of Work, Politics, The American Dream

Building a Team with Free Agents and Freelancers

Many Millennials are freelancers and free agents. Unfortunately, the people hiring them are older ‘fuddy duddies’ leaders who view Gen Y as  lazy and unloyal. While they do have some unique characteristics (which I outlined in my book, Millennial Leaders), it is important for both parties – the young folks and the older folks – to work together to create a good on-demand relationship between the free agent and the manager.

Duke University’s Basketball Coach, Mike Krzyzewski recently provided some great guidance on how to work with the younger generation. His basketball players and the rest of today’s college athletes  are free agents and freelancers. More and more of them adopt a one-and-done approach, playing with one team for one year and then going pro. Or, if they don’t like their school’s program, they transfer to another university. And it’s not just basketball players who are doing this. More and more white collar professionals are also free agents, riding the trend of a contract-based career.

In this On-Demand Society, Coach K indicated that coaches and leaders need to be more adaptable and allow for some slippage, a word he uses to describe that there is less time to work on fundamentals and to develop the perfect team. Corporate America will increasingly deal with the same issue — the free-agent culture makes it more difficult to build and maintain institutional knowledge and company team-work.

Today’s leaders and young workers both need to be flexible. Corporate leaders can’t just say ‘millennials are spoiled and therefore they can’t learn company’s system or way of doing things. Every generation is different and as Coach K states ‘I have to be in their world and they have to be in my world and there has to be a good common ground where we both meet.’ Coach K tries to understand his younger players perspective on life — to understand their culture, such as their music, their language and event their use of social media. Now is the time for corporate leaders to do the same and to try and understand the needs and wants of Freelancers.

Too many on-demand companies need to be schooled by Coach K. Too many treat 1099s as ‘replaceable parts.’  Although this approach is not new, it will backfire and will come back to haunt them later on. They need to understand that we are in what Reid Hoffman calls a Tour-of-Duty economy (although he used the term to describe full-time employees). Since close to 40% of our workforce will be independent contractors by 2020, their voices at center court (and in superior court) will become louder and louder.  Hopefully, the Uber’s of the world will listen to them.

Click here a good interview with Coach K.

Uber Protesters
Freelancers, The American Dream, Uber, Your rights: Presidential Election, Laws, etc.

Game Changer: Uber Drivers will get their day in court

Drivers for Uber Technologies Inc. will get their day in court.

A California federal judge has set a trial date of June 20, 2016 for a class-action lawsuit that could help decide the employment status of Uber drivers, according to the lawyer representing the plaintiffs.

The case, O’Connor v. Uber, concerns the ride service’s classification of drivers as independent contractors rather than employees.

The plaintiffs say that, because Uber controls things like ride prices and performance standards, they should be considered employees and eligible for reimbursement of expenses such as gas and vehicle maintenance.

Judge Edward Chen already certified the case as a class action, rejecting Uber’s argument that drivers should take their claims to individual arbitration proceedings. Uber has appealed the class certification to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Freelancers, Your rights: Presidential Election, Laws, etc.

Classification: Employee vs. Contractor (freelancer)

The Labor Department has tried to clarify the differences between Employee and Contractor.

As a Freelancers, you should know these standards companies have to follow to prevent worker mis-classification.

Here’s are the guidelines:

  1. Relationship between the individual and the company is key and companies are abusing it
  2. Spreading into new industries such as retail, restaurants
  3. See if the company has audited their employee base to get a sense if they are doing the right thing
  4. Understand the questions an employer has to answer, such as
    1. Is the employer an integral part of the company’s business. Example: For a construction company that frames residential homes, carpenters are integral to the employer’s business because the company is in business to frame homes, and carpentry is an integral part of providing that service. In contrast, the same construction company may contract with a software developer to create software that, among other things, assists the company in tracking its bids, scheduling projects and crews, and tracking material orders. The software developer is performing work that is not integral to the construction company’s business, which is indicative of an independent contractor.
    2. Does the employers work impact the profit or loss of the company
    3. How does the persons relative investment (in their own business) compare to the companies. Example: A worker providing cleaning services receives referrals and sometimes works for a local cleaning company. The worker invests in a vehicle that is not suitable for personal use and uses it to travel to various worksites. The worker rents her own space to store the vehicle and materials. The worker also advertises and markets her services and hires a helper for larger jobs. She regularly (as opposed to on a job-by-job basis) purchases material and equipment to provide cleaning services and brings her own equipment (vacuum, mop, broom, etc.) and cleaning supplies to each worksite. Her level of investments is similar to the investments of the local cleaning company for whom she sometimes works. These types of investments may be indicative of an independent contractor.
    4. Does the work provide a special skill or initiative:  A highly skilled carpenter provides carpentry services for a construction firm; however, such skills are not exercised in an independent manner. For example, the carpenter does not make any independent judgments at the job site beyond the work that he is doing for that job; he does not determine the sequence of work, order additional materials, or think about bidding the next job, but rather is told what work to perform where. In this scenario, the carpenter, although highly-skilled technically, is not demonstrating the skill and initiative of an independent contractor (such as managerial and business skills). He is simply providing his skilled labor. In contrast, a highly skilled carpenter who provides a specialized service for a variety of area construction companies, for example, custom, handcrafted cabinets that are made-to-order, may be demonstrating the skill and initiative of an independent contractor if the carpenter markets his services, determines when to order materials and the quantity of materials to order, and determines which orders to fill.
    5. The degree the employer controls the individual, such as demanding they be at the office at certain times of the day.

Again you can find more detailed information here

Why freelancers need a code of ethics
Freelancers, Your rights: Presidential Election, Laws, etc.

Why freelancers need a code of ethics

Why freelancers need a code of ethicsIn a business world filled with ambiguity and contingent workers, freelancers are developing

The contingent workforce is growing rapidly, as companies supplement their full-time staff and keep costs in check by hiring temps, adjuncts, and consultants. A report by MBO Partners predicts a 35% spike in the independent workforce by 2018, while a study from Intuit concludes that in the United States, the share of contingent workers within the workforce will surpass 40% by 2020.

……..

Independent contractors have begun to ask the Freelancers Union to develop a code that addresses how the business world ought to relate to them. “We will start the conversation” on topics around what it means to be a good freelancer and how payment should work, Horowitz says. The organization expects to develop a code to help