Compliance

gig economy

The biggest myth about the gig economy just got busted

The biggest myth about the gig economy just got busted 4000 2764 Heidi McLean

The internet and all its digital descendents (apps, mobile workspaces, etc.) have made it logistically easier than ever to both be and to hire a creative, freelancer, and side hustler. That much is true. Beyond that, there are a whole bunch of splashy headlines and semi-educated guesses about the gig economy’s reach and impact.

Due in part to two Ivy league economists’ predictions, 2015’s descriptions of the gig economy conjured images of companies dismantling their corporate offices while employees flee to the beaches with their sunscreen and laptops. Now, the question is up for debate again. Is the gig economy the wave of the future? Did it ever happen at all?

Either way, it’s time to revisit one of the biggest misconceptions about the gig economy.

The biggest myth about the gig economy just got busted by the same economists who predicted it

Myth: The gig economy is taking over the world!!!  

The 2015 study that launched a thousand predictions said that from 2005 to 2015, the proportion of American workers engaged in “alternative work” jumped from 10.7% to 15.8%accounting for nearly all of the job growth during that period. This led many to believe the gig economy would supplant the traditional workforce in grand, irreversible ways. As always though, the truth tends to be a little more complicated than surface numbers can tell us.

Estimates indicate that the contingent workforce makes up somewhere between 10.1% and 35% of the economy. It’s none other than the Bureau of Labor Statistics that reported the higher number in 2017saying 55 million people were gig workers. They went so far as to project the number would increase to around 43% by 2020. That seems like a whole lot, but one important note is that its estimates include everyone from the freelance writer with steady retainer contracts to the weekend Uber driver supplementing her income with an occasional shift. As is always the case with estimates, every differencefrom definitions to the source of informationinfluences the results and leads to large gaps in the findings. 

One common cause for confusion is the fact that contingent workforce and gig economy are often used interchangeably. In reality, the contingent workforce pie consists of many different types of work arrangements (only one of which truly constitutes the gig economy). The first two slices of pie include staffing arrangements and independent contractor projects that are defined by an SOW and milestone based contracts. True gig workers make up the third piece and include those in micro-burst jobs and hourly gigs. They typically find work and get paid through a platform (such as Uber).

Additionally, the same economists who wrote that influential 2015 study now say it was flawedbased on inaccurate data inflated by the recession. This article indicates that, with the benefit of hindsight, the labor economists who wrote the study have revised their findings. Rather than accounting for nearly all of the job growth between 2005 and 2015, they say the gig economy grew modestlymore like one or 2 points.

Rather than an “explosion,” the gig economy seems to be in the decidedly less sexy category of a steady progression.

What we know

Things are changing just like they always do. For workers looking to freelance as a career or thinking of it as a stepping stone to a dream job, it’s never been easier to take the leap. We’ll be keeping an eye on how things continue to shift, including how legislation such as the Dynamex Ruling changes the way we do business.

Whether the predictions that led to a hyped narrative around the gig economy were entirely accurate or not, the government is still paying extra close attention to accurate worker classification. No matter where this evolution leads, it behooves employers to stay on top of accurate worker classification. The consequences of misclassification don’t change with the headlines.

About PayReel:

At PayReel, we minimize the time and effort it takes to get you ready for your project. Rely on PayReel to assume all of the risk associated with worker classification and get back to the business at hand. We make sure everyone gets paid quickly and easily and have Client Relationship Managers on call around the clock to answer your questions. All you have to do is call 303-526-4900 or email us. The PayReel team makes live event, corporate media, and brand management payroll easier, faster, and seamless.

Our most popular posts of 2019 — to help you make the most of your new year

Our most popular posts of 2019 — to help you make the most of your new year 5184 3456 Heidi McLean
As we find ourselves squarely into first week of the new year, let’s not forget about some of 2018’s most popular posts. We covered everything from how to eat like an adult human (even when you’re working like a dog) to the ever-present discussions around worker classification. Dynamex Decision, anyone?

Here are 5 of 2018’s most popular posts

When an independent contractor becomes an employee: A chain of events

Pumpkin spiced lattes! Babies! Generation Z (move over, Millennials)! What do they all have in common? They’re a constant reminder that there’s nothing so constant as change. With its ever-narrowing definition of an independent contractor, California is embarking on the real-time evolution of the gig economy. Here’s the chain of events a company and its workers might go through in response to such changes. Read more.

3 common freelancing myths, plus the truth (can you handle it?)

To overworked, underappreciated 9-5ers, freelancing may seem like the holy grail. But going out on your own isn’t just a world of free-flowing creative juices, coffee breaks, and wads of money. Freelancing can make you feel just as burnt out and unstimulated as whatever made you take a hike from your previous gig in the first place.

Here are 3 common freelancing myths–plus ways to make the road less traveled work for you. Read more.

Who’s FICA? Why’s he getting all my money?

Today, we’re going to dive into the light, easy, totally uncontroversial world of taxes. As in, “Who’s FICA? Why’s he getting all my money?”

About once a week, the PayReel office phone rings with someone on the other end of the line referring to the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) with exactly the same tone you’d expect with a four letter word. We understand. Read more.

5 skills that will make any freelancer ultra-hirable and profitable

Freelancing is a balls to the wall, pride-swallowing siege and these days, it seems everyone is fighting it out for business. How do you make that business yours? One way is to solve the problems clients have (the ones they called you about) and then go even further by solving the ones they haven’t even thought about yet. That’s when you become an advisor clients can’t live without rather than a freelancer they can replace tomorrow.

Every freelancer should seek to be as hirable and desirable as possible in today’s competitive marketplace. Here are 5 of the most coveted skills as well as where you can hone them for free/next to free. Read more.

How have “work relationships” changed as offices become obsolete?

Gone are the days when “work relationships” are made up of people we see on a regular basis. We can literally have an entire functioning relationship without ever seeing a person or even hearing their voice. Talk about an evolution from the days when sharing an office building was a prerequisite. Here are some of the biggest ways work relationships have changed with the evolving workplace. Read more.

Onward!

With rulings like the Dynamex decision changing the way businesses operate and the digital workspace becoming more common, we are in the middle of one of the biggest evolutions in the modern economy. We will be keeping an eye on the quickly-evolving business dynamics of the 21st century. The one thing we can always be sure of is that change is around every corner.

About PayReel:

At PayReel, we minimize the time and effort it takes to get you ready for your project. Rely on PayReel to assume all of the risk associated with worker classification and get back to the business at hand. We make sure everyone gets paid quickly and easily and have Client Relationship Managers on call around the clock to answer your questions. All you have to do is call 303-526-4900 or email us. The PayReel team makes live event, corporate media, and brand management payroll easier, faster, and seamless.

3 reasons you can’t afford to ignore worker classification rules

3 reasons you can’t afford to ignore worker classification rules 768 951 Heidi McLean

With its settlement just this week, General Assembly is the latest to make news on the worker classification issue. Companies aren’t the only ones paying attention. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Department of Labor (DOL) have enough skin in the game to keep a close eye on the subject, too. When those two pay close attention to something, it behooves all companies to do the same or risk costly, damaging, and time-consuming consequences.

Here are 3 reasons you can’t ignore worker classification rules:

1.   The government isn’t

For years, the IRS and DOL had bigger fish to fry. Lax regulations essentially led to a jaywalker’s attitude among businesses. The thought being that it’s okay to ignore the unnecessarily-restrictive law as long as you look both ways. As the economic landscape shifts and independent contractors rise in prevalence, the financial stakes and potential for missed revenue get higher. In response, government agencies have been ramping up their focus on the subject and the debate on how to define an employee rages on.

The IRS and DOL are not alone. States are joining the fray, attempting to crack down on misclassification, too.

2.   Consequences are expensive

There’s big money at stake. In addition to potential for paying back pay and benefits,you’re looking at a per employee fine and potential legal fees, too. General Assembly’s one million dollar settlement is small potatoes. Look a little further back and you’ll find that FedEx shelled out $228 million in a misclassification case. Then there’s well-known Microsoft example, in which $97 million was paid out plus millions in legal fees in a benefits dispute with its long-term temps. And of course there’s Uber which lost a dispute over whether drivers were independent contractors (as Uber said) or employees (as the law determined).

Just when you thought government scrutiny was driving you crazy enough, here come the lawyers. Where the money goes, they follow. There’s big money in class action lawsuits seeking unpaid benefits, expenses and overtime for workers who can make a case they should’ve been treated as employees.

3.   “We didn’t mean to” doesn’t hold up in court

When you knowingly misclassify employees as independent contractors, it’s called wage theft. When you do it accidentally, it’s called wage theft.

Yes, the rules are confusing. Like many things government, oh what a tangled web the federal and state laws weave. Some laws are interpreted differently from state to state and some tests used to determine status are subjective. But the rules, straight from the horse’s mouth, is a good place to start.

Bottom line

In addition to the financial burdens and time-sucking nature of it all, your credibility is on the line. Getting audited is a PR nightmare and depending on the industry or nature of the company’s business, the press would love to expose a company’s misclassification and actual or perceived abuse of labor laws.

Getting the government, lawyers, and media on your case is a guaranteed trifecta of pain. It can be overwhelming, but even the DOL and IRS recognize independent contractors can be a legitimate part of a business plan and are an important part of our economy. The best way to stay in the clear is to stay in the know. So get smart and there’s no need to burn your W9s and run for the hills.

Need more?

Take our five-minute classification self-audit and review our compliance best practices.

About PayReel:

At PayReel, we minimize the time and effort it takes to get you ready for your project. Rely on PayReel to assume all of the risk associated with worker classification and get back to the business at hand. We make sure you get paid quick and easy, and have Client Relationship Managers on call around the clock to answer your questions. All you have to do is call 303-526-4900 or email us. The PayReel team makes event payroll easier, faster, and seamless.

Worker safety resources for wild weather

Worker safety resources for wild weather 3000 2000 Heidi McLean

What does it mean to do right by your workers with weather that’s getting wilder by the day? I’ll tell you what it doesn’t mean: waiting until someone has a heat stroke to think about worker safety. As we head into August — historically one of the hottest months of the year in much of the U.S. — it’s a good time to talk about workplace safety. Protecting workers, especially those who spend extended time outdoors, requires a little extra forethought and attention. By taking some precautions against heat-related issues, businesses can lower safety risks and prevent fines and lawsuits, too.

Worker Safety in Extreme Heat

Staying compliant with OSHA’s guidelines on Occupational Heat Exposure prevents workers from getting heat related illness. It also prevents them from missing work and you from getting fined. Keep everyone safe so neither you nor your employees end up paying the price.

  1. Provide water, rest, and shade: It’s easy to get into a project and forget about the time. Sometimes proactive measures like mandatory breaks with plenty of hydration will remind people to take care of themselves in the heat.
  2. Recognize the signs: Managers should be on high alert for symptoms of heat exhaustion. According to the Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration (OSHA), “Persons suffering from heat exhaustion might have cool, moist skin; sweat heavily; or complain of headache, nausea or lightheadedness.”
  3. Download the app: At different temperatures and conditions, different measures are appropriate. The U.S. Department of Labor makes it as easy as possible to monitor the heat index as well as its associated risks with its heat safety app. You can also schedule reminders for water breaks and more with a few taps.

General Emergency Preparedness

Heat isn’t the only hazard workers may face. OSHA’s website provides resources for winter weather and just about every situation here. Preventative measures for upcoming cold weather and other inclement weather issues is a worthwhile investment. OSHA offers free on-site consultations to help diligent employers eliminate any problems up front. Contact them at 1-800-321-OSHA for more information.

Bottom line

It’s not just about staying compliant with the letter of the law, but about understanding and staying true to the spirit behind it. Even if you can push temporary employees a little further to get the job done faster, it’s worth going above and beyond to provide a safe environment.

About PayReel

At PayReel, we minimize the time and effort it takes to get you ready for your project, make sure you get paid quick and easy, and have Client Relationship Managers on call around the clock to answer your questions. All you have to do is call 303-526-4900 or email us. The PayReel team makes event payroll easier, faster, and seamless.

The next time you work an event or a production, tell your supervisor you love working with the PayReel team.

gig economy

The gig economy: What California’s ruling means for business

The gig economy: What California’s ruling means for business 5184 3456 Heidi McLean

Gray areas: the stuff of messy legal battles, public relations disasters, and HR headaches. Among the grayest of the gray is worker classification. While it isn’t a new topic, the gig economy is forcing the worker classification debate to a head, leaving the task of finding clarity to the courts. The latest ruling to make headlines continues to rein in the definition of an employee versus an independent contract. At its most basic, the decision means that it’s now harder to classify workers as independent contractors rather than employees.

1. What are the ruling’s implications?

The definition of independent contractors or employees affects all companies—big and small, gig-economy based or not. Independent contractors are not subject to the same compensation and benefit requirements that employees are. It’s less expensive to engage independent contractors, who are not subject to minimum-wage and overtime laws and are also responsible for their own insurance and payroll taxes. According to this article, the ruling did away with the previous test for determining a worker’s category and replaced it with one in which “the worker is considered an employee if he or she performs a job that is part of the “usual course” of the company’s business.”

According to the same article, the ruling also determined that, “a company must show that it does not control and direct the worker, and that the worker is truly an independent business operator, not just classified that way unilaterally.” So businesses can’t just call someone an IC because it’s convenient for their bottom line.

2. What can companies do to prevent worker classification problems?

That I can answer in one word: systems!

The rules for setting up an independent contractor aren’t always easy to interpret. As demonstrated by this and many other rulings, it’s also ever-changing. In fact, we dedicated a whole section of our website to risk compliance, including this 5-minute worker classification self audit to help you understand the law and avoid costly fines. Fuzzy terms are the kiss of death in all things legal. Having a secure classification partner / system in place is the best antidote to the fuzz.

In addition to setting up independent contractors correctly, having an airtight system in place for consistently payrolling all of those contractors also protects against future headaches.

The bottom line

Confusion over worker classification and inconsistent payment practices can lead to fines, lawsuits, and unhappy workers or customers—all of which are damaging to business. With proper compliance securities in place, businesses rise above the gray fuzz and find a clear path. Rulings like these aren’t made for the businesses who are already operating above board. They’re made for the ones that are either willfully or ignorantly pushing the envelope. Any way you slice it, making sure you get worker classification right up front is worth the investment.

 

About PayReel

At PayReel, we minimize the time and effort it takes to get you ready for your project, make sure you get paid quick and easy, and have Client Relationship Managers on call around the clock to answer your questions. All you have to do is call 303-526-4900 or email us. The PayReel team makes event payroll easier, faster, and seamless.

The next time you work an event or a production, tell your supervisor you love working with the PayReel team.

 

This Worker Classification Myth is Hurting Your Business

This Worker Classification Myth is Hurting Your Business

This Worker Classification Myth is Hurting Your Business 2000 2000 Heidi McLean

Sorry, y’all: The five-second rule is bogus. Germs don’t offer a grace period before jumping on your food. Not even your last bite of the really delicious stuff. But that one about metal objects dissolving in a glass of Coke? Still up for debate. And we won’t be testing it to find out.

Myths can be dangerous, silly, or in the case of worker classification—bad for business.

There is a fine line between an employee and an independent contractor and laws surrounding worker classification are confusing. We’ve seen companies go to great lengths to comply with nonexistent rules, so we were compelled to bust one of the most damaging worker classification myths we’ve seen.

 

The Myth About Worker Classification

After a certain amount of time working for you, an independent contractor must be reclassified as an employee.

We think this myth likely comes from one-time best practices that were interpreted as hard and fast rules. Wherever the myth comes from, we’ve seen clients build all sorts of policies to get around the supposed law. We’ve seen them hire workers for six months, drop them for a period of time, and then rehire them, for example. Some companies even refuse to rehire independent contractors after working with them for a certain amount of time because they’re afraid they’ll have to provide all of the benefits associated with hiring an employee. Not only are these policies time consuming, they can hurt businesses that rely on trustworthy freelancers.

 

The Truth About Worker Classification

We think it’s time for everyone to bust the myth and bust free from self-imposed restrictions.

Here’s the liberating truth: If you find a good contractor and want to use them over and over, you can. There are rules, which vary by location, but there are also legal ways to keep your best people working for you.

If you’re confused by compliance laws and fear your workers are misclassified, PayReel can help. Reach out to our team of experts on all things freelance. Get away from the burden of onboarding, payrolling and classifying your workers and focus on what you love.

About PayReel

Producing multimedia content and executing live events is chaotic. At PayReel, we make sure our clients are able to hire who they want, when they want and that everyone is paid properly. Leave the details up to the PayReel team so you can focus on pulling off a flawless production. Contact us anytime at 303-526-4900 or by emailing us here.

Relax. We got it.

When Net 90 Kills Creativity, You Need To Pay Contractors Quicker and Easier

When net 90 kills creativity, you need to pay contractors quicker and easier

When net 90 kills creativity, you need to pay contractors quicker and easier 800 534 Heidi McLean

Internal processes, red tape, and backlogged accounting departments make it hard to get checks in the mail. We definitely understand. Unfortunately, your corporate freelance payment policy might prevent you from working with the best people.

Paying contractors on time is good for you, too

We know: keeping people happy can be a pain the arse. But it’s good for you, too! Top contractors get booked quickly. When you pay contractors quickly, they’re more likely to answer your calls and ramp up your projects in a short amount of time. For busy department heads with big projects and short turnaround times, there’s nothing better than diving right in with tried and true creative partners. Saving time, money, and hassle by working with people who just get what you’re looking for is priceless.  Paying later than your competition can get you blacklisted or moved to the bottom of a contractor’s long to do list.

And if the benefits to you aren’t enough, think about it from their perspective. Freelancers single-handedly juggle creative work, billing, marketing, and more. That means the person who sees your invoice in their red column is the same one you’re expecting to bring their all to your next project. What seems like an insignificant to a big company can have a major effect on a small business’ cash flow.

 

Don’t be a hoarder

According to a Wall Street Journal article, many large companies are “hoarding cash” and “squeezing small businesses” to increase their own bottom lines. Don’t be that guy. Not only does it add pressure to those you work with, it’s just not ethical. You may justify it by saying it’s not as bad as the latest headline maker’s illegal and greedy ways, but shady practices of any degree have no place in your business.

 

The bottom line

Paying contractors quickly is worth the investment. If it’s not feasible to transform your internal process, get a partner involved. You get the peace of mind of knowing that you’ll always be in good standing with contractors. It pays to hire someone with systems in place.

Hiring contractors is a beautiful thing: It gives you a fresh perspective and talent without having to bring on full-time team members. Just make sure you do it right. Going from Net 90 to Net Now will save you time, keep you in good standing with contractors, and ensure you can feel good about the way you do business. Rather than trying to save Benjamins up front, take Benjamin Franklin’s advice and “Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.”

 

About PayReel

Producing multimedia content and executing live events is chaotic. At PayReel, we make sure our clients are able to hire who they want, when they want and that everyone is paid properly. Leave the details up to the PayReel team so you can focus on pulling off a flawless production. Contact us anytime at 303-526-4900 or by emailing us here.

Relax. We got it.

 

Crystal - The Ambassador

Meet the team: Crystal Somers, The Ambassador

Meet the team: Crystal Somers, The Ambassador 7203 4807 Heidi McLean

While our online payroll systems make our clients’ and employees’ lives easier, there’s simply no replacement for the real live people behind the scenes. We are proud to have a stellar team, including Crystal Somers, our Client Experience Manager (also known as The Ambassador). If you haven’t already experienced Crystal’s stellar customer service yourself, you may end up wanting to call just to get to know her more.

 

Tell me more about Crystal (aka the Ambassador)

When Crystal isn’t keeping track of everything in her busy life from minimum wage changes to 6 siblings in different states, our Florida girl enjoys spending time with her fur baby, Vito. Crystal’s strong customer service skills come from life. She says dealing with a big family helped her learn how to handle different personalities, age levels, and backgrounds. That serves her well at PayReel, both with the internal team and with those in the field. In the office, we love Crystal because she’s always willing to help, whether it be with her team’s events, or with taking group walks to keep everyone healthy! Employees love her because she is super responsive to their needs and helpful when questions arise.

We’ll keep profiling the team in upcoming posts so stay tuned!

 

The bottom line

PayReel’s real team of real people is here for you. We provide personal service and work hard to make sure clients enjoy easy onboarding and and employees get paid quickly and accurately. Go ahead, give us a shot!  You can call us anytime at 303.526.4900 or reach us by email at info@payreel.com.  We look forward to hearing from you.

 

About PayReel

At PayReel, we minimize the time and effort it takes to get you ready for your project, make sure you get paid quick and easy, and have customer service agents on call around the clock to answer your questions. The PayReel team makes event and corporate payroll easier, faster, and seamless.

The next time you work an event or a production, tell your supervisor you love working with the PayReel team!

 

 

contract work payreel misclassification

Misclassification in the news: What you need to know

Misclassification in the news: What you need to know 3000 2000 Heidi McLean

While the workforce has plenty of people legitimately doing contract work, when employees are misclassified as contractors, the worker and the government are both likely to miss out. The government loses potential tax dollars and workers lose out on benefits and more. Employers should care about it, too (and not just because the legal stakes are high). It’s about more than the bottom line.

Below are some recent headlines about the evolving workforce and its related consequences:

 

Misclassification in the news: The headlines

North Carolina Governor Signs Law Creating Division to Investigate and Prosecute Employee Misclassification Claims

Highlight: While the federal government has had employee misclassification in its sights for a while, states are now getting in on the game to add heat to errant companies.

March 2017 Independent Contractor Misclassification and Compliance News Update

Highlight: extensively covers recent and current misclassification lawsuits.

New Case Shows That “Uber-ization” of Workforce Could Lead to Misclassification Challenge Highlight: discusses the challenge of determining what an independent contractor is when gray areas in the gig-like aspects of their work exist.

Gig economy creates legal puzzles for the courts

Highlight: discusses what we know about the interests of all parties as well as possible reforms (including the possibility of adding a third worker definition). 

 

Enter PayReel

The way we work and manage businesses are both evolving as contract work increases with the gig economy. With that comes growing pains and litigation. Worker classification is an increasingly sticky subject (Gorilla Glue status, perhaps?) and one we’ve covered extensively (see more posts on the subject here).

If the topic of misclassification makes you sweat, give us a call and we’ll be happy to help. Partners who make your life easier are worth the investment. A payroll service may be right for those who don’t have the bandwidth or interest in digging into the legalese. PayReel manages payroll taxes and, as the employer of record, takes on all risk associated with a variable workforce. Think you might benefit from hiring a payroll service? Here’s a handy guide to find out more.

About PayReel

Producing multimedia content and executing live events is chaotic. When it comes to event payroll, payroll taxes, and so much more, PayReel makes your life easier. We make sure our clients are able to hire who they want, when they want and see that everyone is paid properly. Leave all payroll services and details up to the PayReel team so you can focus on pulling off a flawless production. Contact us anytime at 303-526-4900 or email us.

Relax. We got it.

 

Michelle event payroll payreel

Meet the team: Michelle Bowersox, Operations Team Leader

Meet the team: Michelle Bowersox, Operations Team Leader 800 552 Heidi McLean

At PayReel, we keep things running smoothly with one of the easiest-to-use online payroll systems around. But it’s important to us that technology serves as a complement to the human touch, not the other way around. Somewhere behind all your on-time paychecks are the real people we are proud to have on our team. One of those is Michelle Bowersox, our Payroll Team Leader (also known as The Problem Solver).

 

Tell me more about Michelle

You can find Michelle spending time in the beautiful Rocky Mountains in the summer, buying salt water taffy for her PayReel / Crew Connection team, or rooting on her Denver Broncos during football season. A true Colorado native, Michelle also enjoys learning more about her state’s history and spending time with her husband of 25 years and her daughter Cassie. Along with playing Mama Bear to the CCPR team, Michelle also plays Mama to three fur babies—Glitter, JD, and Dakota. In the CCPR house, we love Michelle because she cares about the employees as if they were her own family.

We’ll keep profiling the team in upcoming posts so stay tuned!

 

The bottom line

The team at PayReel is a true team of real people and we’re here for you. We provide personal service and work hard to make sure clients enjoy easy onboarding and and employees get paid quickly and accurately. Go ahead, give us a shot!  You can call us anytime at 303.526.4900 or reach us by email at info@payreel.com.  We look forward to hearing from you.

 

About PayReel

At PayReel, we minimize the time and effort it takes to get you ready for your project, make sure you get paid quick and easy, and have customer service agents on call around the clock to answer your questions. The PayReel team makes event and corporate payroll easier, faster, and seamless.

The next time you work an event or a production, tell your supervisor you love working with the PayReel team!