Freelancing 2012

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sarah Horowitz, founder and executive director of Freelancers Union, discusses her new book, The Freelancer's Bible, the impact of Sandy on New York workers, and what freelancers may want from a second Obama term.


Sarah Horowitz

Comments [20]


Nov. 13 2012 01:40 PM
margaret from Prospect Heights

Agreeing with RJ in Prospect Heights that the term "union" in their name is most misleading. It should almost be illegal. This is an association without union power. The name should be changed for transparency.

Over the years I have paid attention to what the Freelancers Union is about, and the experience of people involved with this organization, and I have to say that the overall impression has not been positive. The FU (starting to seem like an apt abbreviation) should consider rethinking some of their ways in order to not become obsolete. I am a freelancer, but am not even slightly tempted to join this faux "union."

Nov. 13 2012 12:10 PM

RJ from prospect hts~

Yet another germane point that someone should call Ms. Horowitz out on!!!

Nov. 13 2012 12:01 PM
RJ from prospect hts

If the BLS hasn't counted the number of independent workers, how can she say that one-third of all workers are freelancers?

There's an answer for the fellow whose client contacted him wanting full rights: Say no. It is your property; nothing requires you to give it away. Copyright is yours at the moment of creation unless you agree otherwise. Unfortunately, the problem is that your client may not use you again. If you are valuable enough to them, that's a calculation you have to make.

Nov. 13 2012 12:00 PM

Oh yeah, speaking of credit's a shame the FU can't hammer out a deal with a local institution for FU member eligibility.

Nov. 13 2012 11:59 AM
Amy from Manhattan

How can a client send a contract restricting a freelancer's rights in the work after the work has already been done, as one caller described? That doesn't sound legal.

Nov. 13 2012 11:59 AM


Nov. 13 2012 11:59 AM

A friend just spent a few days in the hospital with a serious but, not life-threatning condition. He had a few procedures and no surgeries.

He has the top-of-line FU Ins. Co.® policy.

He is facing $14,000 in uncovered costs.


Nov. 13 2012 11:57 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

Another important thing is to pick an industry that is required (like accountant or clothing retailer). There are things people just can't purchase when the economy is bad (like art or music lessons), and if you insist on going into those businesses, you are taking a much bigger risk.

To paraphrase Horace Vandergelder, "If you want to make money, sell something everyone needs at least once a year; if you want to make millions, sell something everyone needs everyday." The emphasis should be on the word "needs."

Nov. 13 2012 11:57 AM
RJ from prospect hts

The name Freelancers' "Union" suggests that the organization falls into the same category as traditional unions. It, unfortunately, is not. It is not structured, as the others are, to fall under (for better and worse) National Labor Relations Act and therefore doesn't give workers legal protections. There are freelancers' unions that do--the Writers' Guild, the Actors' Guild, Actors' Equity, the Screen Actors' Guild, among others. They have collective bargaining rights, which members of the Freelancers' Union cannot. It's more of an association, which is allowed to create some voluntary benefits but does not provide the legal options that the NLRA and state labor laws provide for people who are members of unions as traditionally defined.

Nov. 13 2012 11:54 AM

Freelancers Union "Insurance" Co.® offers something called a PPO1. This is the "best" policy. By no definition can this be confused for a "Cadillac" policy.

For a couple with a kid this policy costs $1687/mth. - THAT'S $20,244 PER YEAR!!



Nov. 13 2012 11:54 AM

In order to outsource, how do you structure the pay? Do you have to have a business name and bank account to which the client's check is made, and then pay your friend out of that account? Or can you just do it person to person?
And how do you write it into the contract? Do you need to?
Please advise.

Nov. 13 2012 11:51 AM
Mister Bill D. from Staten Island/NYC


Can you address the current state of the MCMT and Self-Employment Taxes?
It is confusing as to whether or not these have been eliminated.

Nov. 13 2012 11:49 AM

Sarah Horowitz is the president of a FOR-PROFIT insurance company.

Do you REALLY believe she advocates for universal health care which is what freelancers REALLY need?!?!

The last thing we need is another overpriced and woefully inadequate "insurance" product!!!

Nov. 13 2012 11:48 AM

So we will get 10 minutes of this, we really need at least a half an hour discussion for freelancers. Freelancers are a large population of the workforce here in New York and deserve more attention and more discussion on this show. Also please stop calling her a god...

Nov. 13 2012 11:47 AM
Jim from nj

The interview is missing the entire point.
There is NO standard to which LIPA or any other entity must adhere to for resilency!
That would require REGULATION!
Please speak to this issue, as no one is.

Nov. 13 2012 11:41 AM
Jay from Brooklyn

I am hoping that she might be able to address some of Freelancer's Union exclusionary policies and the reasons that they exist. For instance, I have been with an employer for longer than 18 months and this excludes me from being able to apply for Health Insurance through Freelancer's. This employer does not and will never provide me with Health Insurance, so in NY, I am left without insurance in the limbo between Healthy NY (because I make "too much") and paying out of my pocket for an standard health plans, which I will not be able to afford in my current position. Please help!

Nov. 13 2012 10:51 AM
desdemona finch from Colorado

I moved west about 4 days before Sandy hit. I've got a client in the East Village I haven't heard from or doesn't return my emails who owes me a check. I want to be sensitive to the situation and am still doing work for them. When do I cut off work and assume they're never going to pay me?

It's been a month since I last heard from them. I know my contact is still around. He was quoted in a story recently (not about Sandy). I realize people are hurting in NYC but I need to eat. Is it a good idea to only have clients near you? Also, is it a good idea for have NEW YORK clients when you're out of the area. I lived there for years. People will try anything. No offense.

Nov. 13 2012 10:51 AM
Helen from manhattan

How does Obama's new healthcare policies effect freelancers?

Also, I tend to take on every project I get because I'm afraid I will go through a drought or something, then get very overloaded. How should I tell the client, I'd like to take the job but on an extended timeline, without losing the business?

Nov. 13 2012 10:47 AM

I think self-employment could be the wave of the future as more companies don't want to provide benefits. But this doesn't have to be a bad thing--as long as heath insurance and taxes are *affordable* for individuals.
Employer roles like providing access to health care and paying half of employees' individual taxes burden companies and trap employees. This prevents both economic growth and individual fulfillment.

Nov. 13 2012 10:07 AM

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