Dear Darlings Doree and Krucoff: Guess What? You’re Both Wrong About Sheila McClear.

Which is excellent! For the aforementioned recently laid-off Miss McClear, that is. Who says? Why, the New York State Department of Labor, in its concerted two-year effort to crack down on employers who misclassify their workers as independent contractors!

To wit:

UI and Independent Contractors: If an employer-employee relationship exists, it does not matter how the relationship is described by the person engaging the services. For example, if an employer issues individuals a 1099 form rather than a W-2 form, the workers may still be considered employees. Even if the workers sign a statement claiming independent contractor status and waiving any rights as employees, or if they are required to obtain a DBA in order to work for that employer, those individuals may still be considered employees under the law. The Unemployment Insurance Law provides that no agreement by employees to waive their rights under the law is valid.” [NYDOL, itals all moi.]

The irony. Really.

[Gawker: How To Tell If You’re A Freelancer Or An Employee]


Sure, Sheila wasn’t fired. But she also wasn’t, technically, an employee. Gawker staffers are all contractors and as far as I know she will not be eligible for unemployment.


Oh, can we stop saying Sheila was fired? It’s a layoff.

You can debate the semantics but the New York State Department of Labor has a glossary for this stuff…Clearly she wasn’t “fired.” She wasn’t escorted from the building by an HR goon and told never to return (though obviously that can happen with a layoff too) but instead was given a month’s notice due to the company’s reorganization and cost-cutting. The terms of separation mean something very specific when filing for unemployment benefits and while you can collect unemployment for being “fired” under certain circumstances, Sheila’s situation is cut and dry, if also high and dry…


2 Responses to Dear Darlings Doree and Krucoff: Guess What? You’re Both Wrong About Sheila McClear.

  1. michaelduff says:

    I would like to ignore the primary issue and say I wish more people would start blog posts with “Dear Darlings…”

    It’s civilized and condescending at the same time, like a good episode of MASH.

  2. […] their employees as independent contractors to avoid tax and labor law obligations, (haha, wish that was applied to bloggers?)—support for unions, generally, free mass transit for seniors, the aggressive pursuit of […]

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