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The line between freelancer and remote employee is blurring, and it’s hurting workers.

It’s no secret that freelancers are a huge asset to businesses. In fact, 78% of companies reported that they are inclined to fill staffing gaps with freelancers in 2023. At best, it’s a mutually beneficial relationship that has long existed in the workforce.

What freelancers are increasingly coming up against, however, are freelance job offers that bleed into employee territory. “I’m hearing on the grapevine that there is more and more of this happening,” says Lindy Alexander, a long-time freelance writer who provides coaching to other freelancers. “So many companies have conflated work-from-home freelancers with an employee that is working from home.”

“Freelancers can set boundaries by being proactive in defining their scope of work, rates, and availability from the outset of a project,” says Espinal, who also encourages freelancers to “renegotiate terms [of a contract] if they feel their time or expertise is undervalued.”

So what’s the problem with that? When businesses treat freelancers like employees, they are, intentionally or not, asking them to comply with the obligations of a salaried employee, while assuming the risks and uncertainties of being a freelancer. As companies look to meet the demand for remote work and cut costs, the freelancing community is likely to see more gigs advertised as freelance with all the makings of a full-time position.


If you search for freelance work online, you’ll often find job offers that read something to the effect of “Freelance position: 40 hours a week, must be available 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. EST, location freedom—work from wherever you want!” But what do these jobs inevitably lack? Full-time benefits (like health insurance or 401(k) matching) and workplace protections.

Read the complete article by HALEY HARRISON:

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