Labels, like manners, matter. Social researchers are always resurrecting or creating new labels, classifications, and divisions to increase variable control. Through variable naming and onto controlling, social researchers slip bias for particular variables into research reports, slanting conclusions, creating disharmony in the population, and destroying unity. The results can be seen and witnessed in every facet of American Life. Republicans are constantly pitted against Democrats, both are pitted against Independents, and inside these general classifications are heaps of additional labels, splitting the general classifier into ever smaller and more easily controlled sub-groups such as Constitutional, Conservative, Progressive, etc. From this disharmonious adventure in social research has come a plethora of laws benefitting one sub-group against other sub-groups, upholding gender against gender, religion against religion, culture against culture, and forcing courts to choose. The end result, everyone loses.
This same division has caused business organizations problems aplenty since the WWI era. Government has forced business to uphold cultures, genders, and personal choice over what is best for the organization. The relationship between law and the organization is going to be reviewed in future writings. This first review assesses the definitions for freelance or consultant and employee as well as the relationship behind labels, and the dilemma and burden of the hierarchy of business organizations.
According to UseLegal.com (2012) freelance workers are self-employed; work for their selves, bid for open work, and are independent of the business hierarchy. Contractors and Consultants are considered in this category. Freelance employees possess some tax benefits, risk problems, and American Business has embraced these classifications for filling work in times past to reduce payroll expenses. Freelance workers must justify their work, intentions, and pass a 20-point test from the IRS to qualify as a freelance worker.
Again from UseLegal.com (2012) the actual definition of an employee is quoted herein, “An “employee” is defined as “a preference eligible in the excepted service who has completed 1 year of current continuous service in the same or similar positions” or “an individual in the excepted service (other than a preference eligible) . . . who is not serving a probationary or trial period under an initial appointment pending conversion to the competitive service.” Ramos v. Merit Sys. Prot. Bd., 2009 U.S. App. LEXIS 24378 (Fed. Cir. Nov. 6, 2009)” Essentially, a person can be hired by an employer, but does not attain employee status and protection until that person has been hired for a continual year by the same employer, is not under a ‘probationary period,’ and or appointment.
An employee agrees to be controlled by an employer; the production of that person is only one of the controls granted to an employer; conduct both on and off the job can be controlled, along with the means and manner of producing the work specified. The right to control is the primary determining factor in this relationship. The right to control is also the deciding line between freelance workers and employees. Upon this single imperative hang tax law, responsibility of parties, risk, and every item in employee/employer relationships, hierarchical structures, and will ultimately decide who or which party is in charge.
Fancy axioms have been created to express a need to become more creative in thinking, to break the model of dependency, and drive ingenuity and creativity back into the workplace, but these axioms do not reduce control and their purpose is immediately lost when applied to restoring workforce employee choices. To change the paradigm, business organizations must evaluate their ultimate motivation with regard to employee relationships, and employees must decide as individuals how they can best foster their knowledge, experience, talents, and skills whether in a climate of self-control or company control.
Long has it been claimed that, “Those who pay, rule.” By choosing to be an employee, the rights of the employee to control his responsibilities are surrendered to the employer in exchange for less tax burden, regular paychecks, and a continuity producing security. Supervision, management, or control is placed upon an individual’s agency in exchange for less risk. Less risk breed’s complacency, complacency breed’s compliance, compliance breed’s servitude, and thus the individual is captured in a system of control producing a menial mindset. This menial mindset is expressed by phrases like, “Captured by the system,” Taken over by the man,” “Brainwashed,” etc., and has created a dilemma in every business organization. The dilemma is this: although business organizations have control over processes and individuals, this control restricts or prevents employees from doing exactly what business organizations desire in an employee, which is the ability to use ingenuity, logical thinking, and freedom of action so necessary in business interactions and transactions between employee and customer.
The epitome of this dilemma is that the federal government has consistently made having control more expensive through taxation, mandating benefits, and increasing controls thus forcing businesses to choose to either exert more controls upon employees or go out of business. This simple fact is the driving force behind shifting the employment paradigm. It is past time for freedom in employment to break out, to return to valuing knowledge acquisition in business transactions, and to enhance freedom in all aspects of individual lives and livelihoods.
© 2012 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved