It is fair to believe that employers are unable to embrace independent workers, as they might an employee, because of the risk of employee misclassification by the Department of Labor. This may create unwelcome financial penalties. Companies are not able to provide the security and emotional health/support to the independent worker that they deserve, creating an unfair environment even to the companies that benefit from the independent workers talent.
Independent workers a.k.a. Freelancer, Independent Contractor, Gig Worker and the Self-Employed are struggling in the U.S. Many have simply accepted their fate. The desire to be free of a boss and to work in a manner that they define has left 1/3 of the U.S. workforce exposed, earning a living without the safety of a benefit program. No income continuation, no group sponsored health and wellness benefits and no matching contributions to retirement plans put the independent worker and our federal programs, at risk.
Department of Labor (DOL) law and regulation are archaic and often vague. They do not offer the proper classification of independent workers and does not extend the anti-discrimination laws to any worker other than W2 employees. Current law does not allow companies to grant group access to benefits like unemployment, workers compensation and group healthcare or retirement to independent workers.
The current regulation of the banking industry deters easy access to operating capital for independent workers. Due to the advances in technology which has ensured much transparency with online banking, the regulations placed upon the banking industry could be easily redefined to offer easier access to funding.
Until ipse-US, The Association of Independent Workers was founded, independent worker had no political voice, no centralized member association or lobby group fighting for their rights or initiatives. It is true, many choose this path because of a desire to be independent and free, however, a unified voice would provide strength and unity on a national level and support their desire for access to benefits and equality. ipse-US will fix this!
In the United States, independent workers do not have a governing body focused exclusively on fostering, promoting and advancing the welfare of the independent worker. There is no organization set up with the sole purpose of ensuring work site safety, advancing opportunities for personal development and growth, no standard to ensure fair and equal practices are adhered to by aggregators and no assurance of independent worker rights or benefits.
During the Industrial Era and the growth of big corporations in the U.S., the government put a freeze on wage increase which resulted in employers creating and offering robust benefit plans as a way of attracting better talent to their organization. The end result is that today, the employer has become the only true educator and the primary provider of benefit packages.
Because companies contracting independent workers fear Department of Labor penalties, they often disregard the health and safety, happiness and future welfare of the independent worker compared to that of their own employee. Consistently, independent workers are left out of valuable team building experiences like company picnics, leadership meetings and team building programs, further alienating the independent worker in the workplace.
In the U.S. over 68 million people work independently. Few colleges or universities have created educational classes for students to learn about the new world of work and how to successfully navigate within it. Curriculum rarely focus on the necessary support, direction and guidance on how to succeed in their career choice. Education should be available and applicable to the independent workers chosen work style.
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