Online ESL Teacher

Katie Yaniak

Hours before I’d truly like to wake up, and while my family is still comfortably (and quietly!) sleeping, my feet hit the floor with a few minutes until class time. As an online teacher of English as a second language, I have students in a completely different time zone. That means that I am able to get most of my day’s work finished before my family begins to stir. I work for three hours each morning, six days a week.

I then spend the rest of the day homeschooling my four children and running our household. Being an independent contractor enables me to be home with my children without sacrificing financial stability. It lets me take them to their extracurricular activities and see their performances. It means I don’t have to call out of work when a child is sick and needs me to stay home.

What will happen to me if S863 (formerly S4204/A5936) becomes law: Our spending would need to be restricted, including for things like regular dental checkups and fixing the laundry-room plumbing. This bill will make me too risky to contract with, or perhaps even outright illegal to contract with. I will lose my income and will potentially have no way to replace it because so many other people will suddenly be in the same position, scrambling all at once for full-time jobs so we can afford food, clothes and shelter.

Why I want to remain an independent contractor: There is no job more perfectly suited to what my family needs than what I have at this very moment. There are no benefits that a full-time job would offer me that would outweigh the benefits I already have.

What I want lawmakers to do: Reconsider. Slow down. So many things said by the people trying to pass S863 (formerly S4204/A5936) just don’t make any sense, not even to some of the very lawmakers who have approved it to move to the next stage.

Protecting truly misclassified workers is commendable. Taking away the freedoms of the majority of others who are not misclassified is not the way to do it. This is not a simple, square peg in a square hole issue.

Do not legislate away my freedom to provide financial security to my family. Vote no on S863 (formerly S4204/A5936).