February 22, 2021
Hello, Mileage Log
Since mentioning that I updated my system for keeping track of my mileage, I thought the tool I’ve created might be helpful for others, in case they were in need of a way to do the same.
I’m offering it as a new resource, and you can read more about it here. This is a great way to support the work I do, and is always much appreciated. Plus, you can keep your receipt and write it off for your own taxes for the year.
February 14, 2021
This evening, I found myself updating how I track my mileage for different places I work for. For those with whom I contract, I can track and deduct cost of mileage as usual. I work for one place which hired me as a part-time employee and provide a W-2. Thankfully, they reimburse mileage for work, but if they didn’t, mileage for those assignments is no longer a deductible expense per the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Here’s the relevant news release from the IRS.
February 10, 2021
Prop 22 in Action
Well, that was fast. Mike Dickerson at Knock LA reports that Albertsons is firing their employees who provide delivery service at their Vons and Pavilions stores, and opting instead to only go through contract services such as DoorDash.
When Dylan’s grocery delivery arrived a few days before New Years, it came with some bad news. The delivery driver who brought his groceries from Vons mentioned that drivers across the state are getting fired by Vons, Pavilions, and other California stores owned by Albertsons Companies at the end of January. Stores will instead turn to a third-party delivery service using independent contractors.
December 27, 2020
El Pais has an excellent write-up on what is known about transmission of Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2). A few key points to take away are first about the three main modes of transmission:
- Droplet transmission: respiratory droplets are 300 micrometers or larger and fall to the ground within seconds.
- Aerosol transmission (airborne): aerosols are much tinier respiratory droplets, less than 100 micrometers in size, and can remain suspended in the air for hours on end.
- Fomite transmission: surface contamination, which has not yet been linked to any cases worldwide.
December 26, 2020
Vulture Contracting, That Is
Election season and the news cycle certainly took their toll, but I wanted to follow up on something I’d written about here before. It seems that the money which Uber and Lyft poured into California’s Prop 22 paid off for them, since their proposition passed:
In a major win for gig economy companies, CNN projects California voters have passed a costly and controversial ballot measure to exempt firms like Uber and Lyft from having to classify their gig workers in the state as employees rather than as independent contractors.
Backed by more than $200 million from Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Instacart and Uber-owned Postmates, Proposition 22, or Prop 22, is the costliest ballot measure in California’s history, according to Ballotpedia, underscoring how important its passage was to the future of their businesses.
October 30, 2020
Speaking of misclassification of contract workers, Robert Reich of UC Berkeley makes a compelling case for why California’s Proposition 22 isn’t a good measure either (emphasis mine):
Right now, massive corporations like Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Postmates, and Instacart are pouring nearly $200 million into a giant PR campaign designed to get you to vote for this. It’s their measure — they put it on the ballot — and it’s the most expensive ballot measure ever, not just in California, but in the entire country.
Prop 22 would allow companies like Uber and Lyft to continue to misclassify employees as independent contractors, and eliminate the rights of millions of other workers — who’d no longer be entitled to unemployment insurance, overtime, sick leave, protections against discrimination and sexual harassment, or the right to collectively bargain for better wages and working conditions.
A study by my colleagues at UC Berkeley found that under Prop 22, Uber and Lyft drivers would be guaranteed only $5.64 an hour — a far cry from the $13 an hour minimum wage they’d otherwise get. And the vast majority would not qualify for the health benefits outlined in Prop 22.