How often do you work from home? How about answering an email or a quick phone call after you have punched out? Well, now you must be reimbursed in the great state of Illinois. This is a milestone considering today’s workers are switching deeper into the gig economy. That economy should be next on the political agenda. A national law forcing gig economy workers to register as tax paying, social security contributing small businesses. If not gig economy workers will drain the system of its resources faster than the immense retirement of the Baby Boomer generation.
No One Is Independent of Capitalism
Current Federal departments estimate the gig economy has up to 75 million workers. That’s 75 million that are not necessarily paying into our system, possibly non-taxed money. Yet, there are nearly 30 million small businesses that are paying taxes, donating time and money to community engagement and paying benefits. Congress must enact a law forcing all contractual work to be registered as a small business that is taxed at current federal standards. The IRS already has a worksheet for workers to decide if they have a business or a hobby. Once they’ve determined their business status they must begin the process of creating a formal relationship with the IRS. These taxes are then divvied up into different retirement accounts for those 30 million people. According to Pew Research Millennials are most perturbed believing they will pay the bulk of Social security for Baby Boomers but without their gig contributions to SSA, they’ll be the ones in trouble. Retirement is for real and people must be prepared. Uncle Sam doling out a check after you have not saved for your retirement should not be an eligible option anymore. You must pay to play.
Your Health Depends On Work
After these small businesses are registered Congress should require benefit eligibility for contract workers including workman’s compensation, medical, vacation and sick time. Benefits will be available to registered gig contractors that prove they’ve worked a cumulative 32 hours per week per month or accumulated the minimum salary of the federal poverty level. Contractors must register each job, salary, business and expenses for the month. Gig economy workers work on a day labor style of work. Like Fiverr and other similar companies, gig workers must bid for work. If they are sick they can’t bid leaving them without the needed job and without the money for a doctor’s visit. Paid medical through company and federal Obamacare styled insurance will allow these workers’ rights of health in the workplace.
Contract Your Own Compensation
Traditional workers are allowed workers compensation if they have a work-related injury or illness. They also have company, union and government programs like FMLA that help workers when they are ill. Unfortunately, contract work is not guaranteed and usually on a piecemeal basis. But gig workers must enforce their own rights to work and request stable benefits. If gig workers fall below the threshold of full employment, they must register as unemployed and prove to the local employment agency that they are job searching. This may seem excessive but who will feed, shelter and cloth these gig workers when they don’t make the wages that will keep the economy they’ve chosen running. It’s their responsibility to maintain the lifestyle they have chosen without welfare.
Freelance Associations Must Expand Their Protections
A gig economy association similar to labor unions would be expected to support gig workers. This association should create working guidelines such as prevailing wage, number of contracts, contract guidelines, etc. A minimum must be set for monthly income enabling gigsters the ability to pay benefits. A prevailing wage for each type of work gigsters contract as well. Supply and demand can only be profitably stabilized when workers are working toward a higher salary goal, not a higher number of jobs. If corporations believe they can decrease workers work value such as Fiverr, all workers’ wages will decrease. There should not be a maximum. Gig workers must be single individuals and not groups of people working together as a co-op. If so, then they are a corporation. These guidelines are to protect both gig and traditional workers as we continue to oil the machine of capitalism.
The Future Shouldn’t Pay For Today
The future of America depends on workforce stabilization. As manufacturing brings an uptick a service job is lost. But they balance each other so there are always jobs in the economy. Gig workers don’t ensure any type of stability. It’s all dog eat dog in their work world. If 40% of the future workforce is not stabilized with benefits, paying taxes and Social Security, then all workers will be harmed. Congress must ensure that the future of the economy and workforce are balancing each other. If not, we will all pay a high price.