๐Ÿˆ Community
wendy_writes
Member

Microsoft opposes U.S. labor board ruling on contract worker rights

Reuters story - and yes, this could impact which clients any of us are willing to work with.

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-microsoft-contractors-idUSKCN0Z206C?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&...

 

18 REPLIES 18
farrah-felice
Member

It really would be!

This sounds more like it affects people working for consulting companies that then send you onsite somewhere which is common in the programming world. You work "full time" for the consulting company and they send you onsite to a third-party location. Most of them give you health insurance (although it's expensive). The only thing you don't get is paid time off for vacation, so if you work during a holiday, you're screwed although if your manager is cool he'll sign off that you worked. :)))))

 

I guess it could affect agencies here, but this place is a place to find leads and get paid. You're not working for Upwork but you're are contracting a service directly with the client using Upwork's system. This sounds like it's for people using their subcontractors to work a significant amount of time onsite for a third-party, which again is very common in the IT world.

My guess is that whatever ruling ends up being applied it will not be limited to IT folk. 

 

From what I've been able to ascertain it could impact any freelance professional (via platforms like U and others as well as those working via B&M agencies) if the majority of hours are logged for one client.

 

Any attorneys or US HR management around that can weigh in?

The article is interesting, but irrelevant to us here at Upwork


@Wendy C wrote:

My guess is that whatever ruling ends up being applied it will not be limited to IT folk. 

 

From what I've been able to ascertain it could impact any freelance professional (via platforms like U and others as well as those working via B&M agencies) if the majority of hours are logged for one client.

 

Any attorneys or US HR management around that can weigh in?


Sure. Staffing agencies and such. This isn't a staffing agency and customers contracting you are hiring for a service not full-time work through an agency. This place just leases tools and provides leads but the job is totally on us to do. In a staffing/consulting agency, the company contracts the agency and the agency does everything including paying employment benefits and taxes and such.

 

If you knew how it worked, you'd understand their point. Like I said, a lot of staffing agencies now offer health benefits to get you to work with them. At least in IT consulting that's becoming common. Not sure about the clerical people. But you work for the staffing agency full-time as a w-2 employee and then you are "outsourced" to the third-party company for the contractual time.

 

It's not the same here. 

 

I'd be interested in my real world contracting world, but I don't plan to ever go back but it is my backup. Not sure what they could offer other than paid time off. Currently, at least in IT you get benefits since you are a w-2 employee for them.

Jennifer, by no means did I imply this would impact all freelance jobs. 

 

I did, however, imply the resulting ruling MIGHT impact contractors who work mostly and/or exclusively for a single large US based company. 

 

Trying to draw a parallel - either pro or con U. or any other freelance platform - at this juncture is impossible.  I was not suggesting such an action. I posted the article as information freelancers need to know.


@Wendy C wrote:

Jennifer, by no means did I imply this would impact all freelance jobs. 

 

I did, however, imply the resulting ruling MIGHT impact contractors who work mostly and/or exclusively for a single large US based company. 

 

Trying to draw a parallel - either pro or con U. or any other freelance platform - at this juncture is impossible.  I was not suggesting such an action. I posted the article as information freelancers need to know.


Right. And I didn't get that from the article at all. I'm telling you that it's targeting staffing agencies, consulting agencies, etc where the contractor is a full-time w-2 employee and then is "outsourced" to a third-party. In IT, you really don't lose out on much other than paid time off and any onsite company benefits. For instance, at Citrix I got all the subsidized food, perks, and onsite extras like massages and such but I couldn't participate in certain functions like budgeted team outings.

 

the only thing I can think of is this is to give people health insurance, but again it's common in IT to offer insurance in an effort to get you to work with them.

 

I don't see this relating to someone buying a service from someone here long-term. I've had the same maid service for 5 years but I don't expect to pay them health benefits. 


@Wendy C wrote:

 

I did, however, imply the resulting ruling MIGHT impact contractors who work mostly and/or exclusively for a single large US based company.


 Those generally work through Upwork Payroll


@Wendy C wrote:

 

Any attorneys or US HR management around that can weigh in?


 I haven't read the actual ruling, but based on a quick read of a couple of news articles, this decision will apply within the narrow realm of people who are employees of one company but dedicated workers at another. The only change appears to be to the interpretation of what "joint employee" means, and that is a concept that applies only in situations where the worker is an employee of an outside company such as a staffing agency.

 

I will update if I learn anything of consequence when I read the actual ruling,but my take now is that this does not apply to us in any way.

I just skimmed an article on the topic as well. I think the application is when the top employer dictates work rules for the subcontractor (i.e. Corporate Social Responsibility standards). Once you start telling someone how to do the work, you move into employer territory.

It is the 6th para of the article that might impact freelancers working primarily for any large US based client:

 

"Business groups say the ruling has the potential to disrupt a range of business-to-business relationships, including those that companies have with vendors, staffing agencies, subcontractors and subsidiaries, as well as franchisees."

As freelancers, we are generally if not always contractors, not subcontractors.  I certainly wouldn't fret about it. And even if we are subcontractors (agency freelancers), I don't think you need to worry.  If I have the opportunity to read the actual decision, I  might change my opinion, but based on what has been posted, this ain't us.

I think the impact should be minimal on a company like Upwork, because any 'rights' would be almost impossible to impose globally - except of course  - Upwork certainly managed to impose VAT on its European contractors.

 

I was interested by something Jennifer wrote:

"I don't see this relating to someone buying a service from someone here long-term. I've had the same maid service for 5 years but I don't expect to pay them health benefits."

 

In France, if you employ somebody to clean for you (or do anything for you that you pay for), that somebody has to be (should be) declared. What you pay your cleaner contributes directly to his/her health and social benefits. Where this becomes clouded is if the person is not declared and you pay them cash. Lots of people do it - but it is against the law for both worker and employer, and if you are discovered, you could both be in pretty deep doo doo. This is very  simplistic, because the ways in which one is declared vary, but the bottom line is that you are breaking the law if you pay anyone for a service and don't declare it 

 

I am assuming that Jennifer's cleaner comes from an agency, in which case she would not have to pay any benefits; presumably the agency would? But US law - indeed State law - could be completely different,  which of course begs the next question . . . 

 

Yes, I get my cleaning service through an agency. I write off their services as "cleaning services" but I don't have to do anything else. The agency does a background check on them and I pay the agency and then the agency pays them.

Freelancers Union has been quite vocal in support of this -

 

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-nlrb-workers-20150828-story.html

 

Re Nichola's comment about being somewhat responsible for cleaning help, etc. that is contracted privately (not thru an agency) - in the US the laws seem to be somewhat in place about proper wages, etc. but how much is left in State hands or even adhered to overall is questionable.  Occasionally news reports surface of abuse and then there is a flurry to rectify it.

 


@Wendy C wrote:

It is the 6th para of the article that might impact freelancers working primarily for any large US based client:

 

"Business groups say the ruling has the potential to disrupt a range of business-to-business relationships, including those that companies have with vendors, staffing agencies, subcontractors and subsidiaries, as well as franchisees."


All of those relationships listed do (or, at least, can) involve the employee of one company doing work for another company. That's the key element in the "joint employer" issue--it's not meant to address direct contractors (those are subject to the test Tonya mentioned regarding direction), but in situations where the employer is one party but the employee effectively reports to someone else. 

versailles
Member

Collier.jpg

 

"We are not the threat,

we are salvation."

 

โ€”Jordan Collier, the 4400 Freelancers

 

 

Please use Promicin with caution.

 

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   โ€”William Ashbless

Freelancers: We might not be the solution to the problem, but we'll drag it out long enough so we hit the $10k mile marker.

Learning Paths