{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Advice needed! Have just been asked to Freelance with W2 form. Without any benefits. Is this even possible? Would I lose my eligibility for Unemployment insurance once the gig ends? I was laid off from my full time agency job 2 months ago and have already freelanced as self employed on an LLC since. Seems like they’re being tight and taking advantage of the current climate.", "post_id": "5ee90110ef6615001abda98f", "reply_count": 22, "vote_count": 4, "bowl_id": "5565cfca8b2b9a03009acf57", "bowl_name": "Advertising" }

Advice needed! Have just been asked to Freelance with W2 form. Without any benefits. Is this even possible? Would I lose my eligibility for Unemployment insurance once the gig ends? I was laid off from my full time agency job 2 months ago and have already freelanced as self employed on an LLC since. Seems like they’re being tight and taking advantage of the current climate.

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I don’t knew about the unemployment benefits but it’s pretty normal for the bigger agencies to require you to get paid w2. It’s been this way for a few years now. I’ve been put on w2 even for one day projects.

likesmart

Your unemployment claim is fine. The benefits “pause” during your W2 freelance gig. When finished with your gig, as far as the government is concerned, you got “laid off” by your freelance gig due to “lack of work.” They will ask you the name of where you worked, and then your benefits pick up where you left off. No need to file a brand new claim, as you are still within your current claim year. Any W2 freelancer can do this between gigs, it’s 100% legal.

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Having you as a W2 worker will help from a PPP forgiveness and other disaster assistance perspective as well, though regulations change by the day. Unemployment insurance payments are to the state’s labor office made by the employer, in addition to Social Security. With the changing nature of how workers are classified and the federal programs, we will probably see more audits and fines as we come out of this. Even if you take the work as an independent contractor you legally have to stop taking unemployment for the duration of the time you are employed with the new place.

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Expect to see more of this. California implemented a law last year and I believe other states as well that has made it difficult to hire Independent Contractors. Google the ABC test for Independent Contractors. Basically, in order to hire someone as an Independent Contractor rather than W-2, the worker must perform work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business (aka there is no one else there who does this type of work). There’s a lot of risk in case of an audit, so a lot of large companies have thrown in the towel and will only do W-2 now. Small companies can probably get away with it because they’re less likely to be audited and may in fact not have other people who do the same type of work.

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What do you mean by unemployment insurance? It's not uncommon for agencies and companies to prefer going the W2 route with freelancers. Especially in California. When I was freelance, about half my jobs were through my S-corp and half W2. I don't think it should change anything about your insurance since you aren't receiving any benefits as a contractor.

As a W2 employee they will take out for Unemployment Insurance. This will add to you available benefits when you leave that position. I’ve also noticed at some of My W2 gigs, after a certain amount of hours, I have been offered health insurance. I’ve never accepted, and I’m not sure how much is cost, but it was offered.

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Isn’t it easier to get unemployment with W2? I’ve been doing unemployment with a 1099, and it’s harder and the system is messed up.

@JA1 : I was on a W2 with my last full time job. They pay unemployment taxes to the govt and that makes me eligible for benefits now. But after being laid off I am now in the system under that previous employer until I stop certifying each week or until the benefits run out. Whichever comes first.

I know some recruiting agencies do this with freelancers but usually offer benefits after a few months.

Thanks for the info, everybody!

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