Independent Contractor

The woman I am working for that owns the non-profit said she would like me to be an independent contractor rather than an employee.
I have been an independent contractor before. Having independent contractors rather than employees is very beneificial for companies
or so-called “non-profits”. You generally get the same amount of work but you don’t have to pay payroll taxes, take out social security
and obviously an independent contractor doesn’t get paid days off like sick days, vacation days etc.

One of my jobs where I was an independent contractor, I was asked to sign a lengthy, one sided contract. It probably wouldn’t have held
up in court but(among other things) I had to agree not to work for anyone else in the industry!

Funny thing is, later in the day the woman, Ill call her S, texts me, “Thanks for your loyalty”.


What planet is SHE living on?

I have been watching her. She hired a guy to create her website and now she calls him all the time with questions and wondering if he can add this or
add that to the website and she doesn’t like it when he wants to be paid for his time and expertise. Ugh.

Here’s how it is. She is loyal to the lowest cost worker and I am loyal to the highest bidder. I have expenses and that’s the way it has to be. I don’t fall
for those tired old tropes like “loyalty””let’s grow this company together” etc. It’s a joke. Companies of the past could ask for these things because they were GIVING back a lot in return. They were giving benefits and pensions, for instance.

NOW, I just have to navigate this in a way where I come out on top. Do you (my readers) think I’m getting TOO materialistic? I see it as survival.

What the woman may not understand that (by law anyway) you cannot “boss” an independent contractor like you can an employee. She can’t tell me what hours to work, for instance or require me to go to meetings.

BUT, I am not going to tell her any of that. She may not use my services anymore if I do that and it’s not my responsibility to advise her on tax matters. What I am going to do is make sure any infractions are documented (via email) and if she pushes me too far, I will call the labor board or the IRS. My understanding is, you CAN get some help from these agencies because the IRS in particular is concerned about their taxes (of course).

I know I sound jaded but I’ve been through this before if I don’t learn how to get what I need, I’m probably going to stay homeless. My natural inclination in these situations is to run away. I don’t want to do that anymore though. I want to win.

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flickr photo by DonkeyHotey

About Maureen, Living in a Van

I'm a free-sleeper living in a van in the prettiest part of the world. I do this partly due to financial circumstances and partly because I love a good adventure.
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2 Responses to Independent Contractor

  1. Lynn says:

    Too materialistic, not at all. Non-profits are notoriously poor paying but if you can gain some valuable skills to transfer over to another job then it is worth your while. Being self employed now after many years of working for a corporation, I can see both sides. I think if you are young, try to get in with the corporations that will pay you a pension, sick time, vacation time, benefits, educational benefits but when one gets to an age where one cannot tolerate the corporate climate, it is time to go out on your own. People are funny though that they want other’s to work for free. I would never work for free, that is called volunteering and a whole other issue.

    I am glad I spent my time with a corporation though because I built my nest egg and can now pick and choose jobs that interest me. Good luck with the job.

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