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State And Federal Employment Laws: Know Your Rights When You Work Across States

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One of the biggest employment scuffles of our time is the introduction of AB5, a Californian law that hopes to stabilize the gig economy. The hope is to bring more security to freelancers and contract workers by limiting the amount of work they can take on before becoming full-time employees. While it may seem like a good initiative to stop exploitation, it’s not going down well in the freelance communities. For freelancers, this could mean a mass exodus into other states such as Nevada, Arizona or Oregon, but also an infringement on their right to earn an income. This, incidentally, also affects freelancers from other states who cross state lines into California, which is good to know for those working on assignments.

At some point in their career, many people consider taking their career in a freelance direction. Knowing your rights as a freelancer is important

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The Right To Fair Compensation For Travel

Employees who are required to travel to meet the obligations of their role need to know when they will be compensated. If traveling is part of the normal commute, this is unpaid. Travel that does not form part of the commute and is not incidental should be paid – for instance, asking an employee to drive across the state to meet with a client. It’s also the employer’s responsibility to cover the cost of travel, especially if the trip requires an overnight stay. They would need to cover the cost of accommodation up to a certain amount, as well as meal vouchers.

Costs Of Medical Treatment And Injury Claims

One of the most important things to remember as an employee is that insurances may be limited to certain states. For instance, a business that’s based in Delaware and has its employees covered under a Delaware-based policy, may not be sufficiently covered for workers in outlying states such as Pennsylvania, Maryland or Vermont. Workers comp insurance needs to be purchased for the right state, and it’s also important to advise the underwriter that staff may travel to different states from time to time in order to avoid refusal to pay based on non-disclosure.

Understanding Cross-State Taxation

Being sent to states such as Florida and Texas for business won’t trigger any taxes; however, Colorado and Vermont are known to require a tax filing the moment you touch the ground for business, even if it’s just for a day. You may get stuck with a hefty tax bill if your employer didn’t withhold taxes from your income when you were sent across state. It’s important to find out from your payroll department whether they are aware of the tax requirements per state if traveling for business is something new to your firm.

“When people decide to launch a freelance career, they often don’t think of it as a business. If you’re just working on your own, it can be difficult to view your efforts as a business and not just an individual doing some work. But it’s important to view your freelance career as a business and to take the steps you would take when building one. A business plan is one of the important things you should have, helping you to create a vision for the future.” – Launching a Freelance Career

It’s important to check in with your employer to ensure you are covered when expected to travel out of state, and how it may affect your ability to earn or personal taxation.

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