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Freelance vs Staff (here we go again . . .)

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David OulashianFreelance vs Staff (here we go again . . .)
by on Feb 5, 2006 at 7:58:01 pm

I have been a freelance editing for a network. This really means I am a part timer who works 40-50 per week for them, I get paid through payroll (they pay taxes), but I get no benefits. Now they are asking me if I would like to come on staff?

Say that I am making $50/hour as freelance, and say they offer me $76,000 (base plus OT etc) a year to come on staff. Is it worth it? Obviously the hourly rate is less (about $37 an hour) in this scenario.

I guess my real question is: what staff rate would be equivalent to a part time rate, once you factor in everything else.

Thanks a lot,


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Rich RubaschRe: Freelance vs Staff (here we go again . . .)
by on Feb 6, 2006 at 3:23:46 am

Um, are you ONLY working for them as a freelancer? Any other clients? If they are the only client you have as a freelancer, I'd get onboard for the benefits and security etc. Then if the time is right down the line get back out there and hit the streets.

Nothing like security and benefits!

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media

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debeRe: Freelance vs Staff (here we go again . . .)
by on Feb 6, 2006 at 4:39:24 am

Only you know how much you pay for the benefits you supply yourself that will be replaced by what they would be supplying.

Do the math. What do you pay for your health, disability, unemployment & life insurance, and retirement? Average it out and subtract it from your hourly freelance wage. Then figure the added sick days and paid holidays. Subtract that from your freelance wage. That's really the way to figure it out apples to apples.

They may offer things you aren't willing to pay for, like some of the insurance(s). That's a bonus, then. Makes the math less accurate, but still...


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Pixel MonkeyRe: Freelance vs Staff (here we go again . . .)
by on Feb 6, 2006 at 5:39:51 pm

As long as you definitely negotiate coming on as an hourly staffer. Guesstimate that OT will then boost you to about $90-92k. It'll also act as a buffer against those less-budgeted (less fun) projects. Perhaps agree to their $37/hr with a written agreement to boost you to $42 within 15 months?

`(=)`/...Pixel Monkey

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Mike SchrengohstRe: Freelance vs Staff (here we go again . . .)
by on Feb 7, 2006 at 5:36:52 pm

Plus if you are an employee, it is much harder to fire you.
You might get laid off but then you might be eligible for
unemployment. As a free-lancer they can get rid of you
for no reason and you have no re-course. Same work
more security.

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Frank OttoRe: Freelance vs Staff (here we go again . . .)
by on Feb 7, 2006 at 11:03:30 pm

[Mike Schrengohst] "Plus if you are an employee, it is much harder to fire you."

Not necessarily true. Labor laws are not consistant from state to state and many do not mimic US labor laws. Several states, including Nevada have what is called "right-to-work" regulations. Those regulations include the employer having the right to hire anyone regardless of union affiliation and the right of the employer to terminate any employee without cause.

In all cases, be sure to check with your state's department of labor regulations to determine your situation.


Frank Otto

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Bob ColeHealth insurance
by on Feb 8, 2006 at 3:55:18 am

I suspect that the biggest factor for many people in the U.S. is health insurance. If you are buying health insurance as an individual, and you or anyone in your family gets into a significant accident, or becomes very sick, you could be on your way to bankruptcy. It's the kind of thing that you can blissfully ignore for years, but when it bites you, it can be devastating. A pre-existing condition can make your health insurance premiums look like the salary from your first good job (if anyone will insure you at all).

Even though they've been cutting back coverage and demanding more contributions from employees, corporations tend to offer better health insurance for less, than individuals can find on their own. I'm no expert, but from what I've heard, U.S. Federal laws provide a much greater tax advantage to businesses than individuals for buying health insurance.

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Gary TaylorRe: Health insurance
by on Feb 8, 2006 at 6:33:02 am

I'll second what Bob on the insurance issue. In just about every State an insurance company will underwrite your policy and determine your premiums based on your health history. This means that a small company can be quote astronomical rates if one employee or dependent gets ill.

This can become a critical problem when it comes time to renew your policy as an independent contractor or as a small group. Depending on State laws and the insurance companies' policies each families premium could increase to thousands of dollars per month when someone gets sick. Then your insurance doesn't look very much like insurance.

In a very few State's like Maryland the risk is pooled accross all groups in the State regardless of size and health history. Check your own State's rules to see how you are affected if someone gets sick. I don't think losing 25% of your income at the salary you are quoting is unreasonable is there is good benefit package. If it was 50% it would be a different story but to have some measure of protection for you and your family I could see it being a fair trade.

I am personally not very happy with insurance companies right now because of some of the issues discussed here. In fact my mother is fighting her insurance company because they are playing fast and loose now that my Sis has finally gotten a kidney transplant after being on a list for ten years. In a sentence I don't think many of them are nice people.
Hope that helps,

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Bob Colegetting political, but relevant to us
by on Feb 8, 2006 at 3:43:26 pm

[Gary Taylor] "In just about every State an insurance company will underwrite your policy and determine your premiums based on your health history."

That should be illegal, for both ethical and practical reasons. We all wind up paying for uninsured folks in the E.R., yet we are all forced to pursue our own "best deal" just to keep from getting the short end of the stick. The people who created and maintain our current system (for their own benefit of course)should be ashamed. And it isn't really O.T. to discuss this here, because it has an adverse impact on the independent contractor-types who make up a large part of the folks in our profession.

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Nick GriffinRe: Okay, REAL political
by on Feb 8, 2006 at 7:55:49 pm

Don't get me started, but...

Have you been to a Doctor's office or hospital (in the US) lately??

Combine the number of people responsible for paperwork, the number of paper-pushers in large employers, the number of paper-pushers in the "health care delivery" companies, and yes -- I'm even going to harpoon our area of concern in this forum -- the number of people concerned with selling and marketing health care... and what have you got? My guess is about a third or more of the money spent on health care being wasted on things which have little to do with ACTUAL health care.

Socialized medicine probably isn't the answer either, but what we have now certainly isn't a smart use of resources. (Please, Stinton. No plugs for Canada. You've got your issues, too.)

Rant off.

(The part of Mr. Griffin was played by a mal-contented upper-cruster who thinks goverments and systems intended to serve the public should actually do so. Hah! The joke's on him.)

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Frank OttoRe: Okay, REAL political
by on Feb 9, 2006 at 5:14:29 pm

I just want to know where does HealthSouth get off lobbying my state's senators and congressmen when their services aren't even offered in my state. Nearly half a mil went to the pockets of the Nevada delegation...there's a chunk o' change that could have been spent in the south for real care...


Frank Otto

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