KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Thursday, February 06, 2020

US State Laws About Independent Contractors

The US state of California enacted a law in January 2020 that redefines the role of independent contractors, aka freelancers. The American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) recently wrote to its self-employed members, who include self-employed medical writers and self-employed medical editors, to say this:

One unintended consequence of this effort is a potential chilling effect on companies that hire freelance medical writers and editors. If companies stop hiring freelancers because they are afraid their state might later redefine those freelancers as employees entitled to all appropriate benefits and required income tax withholding, this will threaten freelancers’ businesses, livelihoods, and ability to work as they wish.

See this news story from the LA Times and this information from the State of California Department of Industrial Relations for background on these kinds of laws.

Because AMWA has heard concerns from its self-employed members, the organization has issued two documents that you as a freelance editor might find helpful:

If you're a self-employed editorial worker who lives in the USA, check with your professional organizations (the Society for Editing, American Society for Indexing, Association of Earth Science Editors, Council of Science Editors, Editorial Freelancers Association, Northwest Editors Guild, etc.) to see what they're doing and saying about similar laws in your state.

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