W-2 or 1099? 3 Steps to Help You Understand the Difference

Whether you’re adding gig work or freelancing with your “regular” work, finding jobs through a staffing agency, or just getting started on your taxes – it can be confusing to know which employment tax form to complete.

January 28, 2021
Two papers labeled W2 and 1099

Whether you’re adding gig work or freelancing with your “regular” work, finding jobs through a staffing agency, or just getting started on your taxes, it can be confusing to know which employment tax form to complete.

When comparing different forms, a common question asked is “Am I filling out the right one?” While your employer determines this when you first start working with them, it helps to know some of the key differences between a W-2 employee and a 1099-MISC worker.

The easiest differentiator between the two types of workers is whether taxes are withheld. Workers using a 1099-MISC form are considered self-employed independent contractors. Social Security and Medicare taxes are not withheld and 1099-MISC workers are required to pay their own taxes, the “self-employment” or “SE” tax.  W-2 employees have a percentage of each paycheck withheld by their employer and a portion of their employment taxes are paid for by the company. (For more information, consult the IRS and read more on their website.)

So what are other differences between 1099-MISC and W-2 employees? PeopleReady shares three key points to keep in mind.

Behavioral Control

Does your boss control what type of work you do, when, and how you do it? If yes, the company has behavioral control, most likely deeming you a W-2 worker. If you work through a staffing agency like PeopleReady, you could be a W-2 employee with the agency. 1099-MISC workers do not have a boss they must report to, but they are required to find their own jobs and clients, create their own contracts, and manage their tax deductions.

Financial Control

Financial control applies to how a worker is paid. In many W-2 scenarios, the employer decides when the worker is paid and for how much. A 1099-MISC independent contractor will define their payment through various contracts dependent on the project and clients they work with.

Relationship with Employer

Do you have set length of time you’ll work for the employer- maybe a few shifts or a set several weeks? Or is your time of employment indefinite, as there are no plans on you leaving? Each of these factors can help determine the type of relationship, whether you’re an employee or independent contractor. Working through a staffing agency can influence this: you may be a W-2 employee through the staffing agency, being connect to jobs for an outside customer or business. You may be a W-2 employee for the agency, since you will work with them for an indefinite period of time.  It’s always a good idea to double check with your recruiter or agency representative if you’re not sure of your employment type, or with a finance expert if you have questions about your tax situation.

Ready to make money doing the jobs you want, when you want? Here’s where to start

Avoid These 4 Common Workplace Injuries

Safety first.

It’s not just a catchphrase, it’s a guiding principle here at PeopleReady—and hopefully, it’s top of mind for you whenever you head out to any job.

January 14, 2021

Worker in a safety harness walking

Safety first.

It’s not just a catchphrase, it’s a guiding principle here at PeopleReady—and hopefully, it’s top of mind for you whenever you head out to any job. After all, every job involves some safety risks, though some more than others. That’s especially true in the warm summer months.

We’re not trying to scare anyone, but we do want to stress the importance of staying alert and exercising caution on a job site. Your safety is always our top concern—and for good reason: There are several injuries that can put you in harm’s way and keep you from working. Obviously, no one wants to get hurt, and no one wants to spend days, weeks, or even months recovering.

To help you keep an eye out for safety hazards, we’ve put together a list of common workplace injuries that keep workers out of commission:

Overexertion

Overexertion might be the first workplace injury to come to mind since it’s usually among the most common. Think of a worker hurting their back moving a heavy box. These injuries happen regularly because they can result from mistakes we all make when we’re fatigued or distracted, like not following the age-old wisdom of lifting with your legs, not your back.

Falls

Workplace falls are typically separated into two categories: falls from heights and falls on the same level. Falls from heights (or between floors) occur when a worker falls from a higher location like scaffolding or a roof. Falls on the same level can occur when you slip or trip over an object. In many cases, the easiest way to prevent falls is just to be alert.

Repetitive Motions

These injuries might sneak up on you because they’re not the result of a big event. They occur after repeatedly performing a small, seemingly innocuous task over and over again. The wear and tear on your muscles builds up over time and eventually you find yourself with an injury or condition (such as carpal tunnel syndrome) from overuse.

Cuts, Punctures or Scrapes

We spend a lot of time stressing the importance of personal protective equipment (PPE), and although you might consider it obvious advice, there’s a reason for it. Common injuries like cuts, punctures, and scrapes are largely preventable if you’re wearing the appropriate gear. These accidents occur when you’re not protected or you don’t have control of an object because you’re not wearing the proper equipment.

Now you know some common workplace injuries. So what are some tips to keep in mind to stay safe when you’re on the job site?

  • Always wear the appropriate PPE
  • Pay attention to your surroundings
  • Report any safety concerns
  • Don’t perform any task if you don’t feel properly trained or protected
  • If you experience any injury (even if it seems harmless), report it immediately.

6 Safety Questions to Ask on Every Job

Safety is our No. 1 priority at PeopleReady. Ask yourself these six questions before your first visit to the job site.

December 22, 2020
job safety

We get it. When it feels like you have a million things to do, safety isn’t necessarily the first thing that comes to mind – particularly when you’re hustling to make it on time and doing the job well.

But imagine the frustration of having to miss work because of an injury. Sitting out of days, sometimes even weeks or months, of pay and on top of that, dealing with an injury. It’s not worth it! But the numbers aren’t comforting: The National Safety Council says that someone is injured on the job every seven seconds, adding up to 510 injuries each hour, 88,500 a week, and 12,600 every day.

Our goal is that when you’re on a job site with PeopleReady, you feel safe. Here are five crucial questions to ask yourself before heading out onto a job, every single time: 

1. Do I know the job?

When you’re sure of the job description and what your duties are, you can decide whether it’s a job you’re comfortable with and have the skills and proper training for. Make sure you know the details of a job before signing on.

2. Does the job look accurate?

If you show up to a job site and you’re being asked to do work that varies greatly from the description, call your branch representative about your safety concerns.

3. Am I geared up?

Don’t take your personal protective equipment (PPE) for granted; many injuries occur just because a worker isn’t wearing their PPE. And remember, PPE can be anything from steel-toed boots to a simple pair of protective glasses.

4. Do I feel safe?

If there is anything about your job site that doesn’t feel safe, do the right thing and let your supervisor and branch staff know. Respectfully informing them of any potential hazards not only protects you and your colleagues, but safeguards the business.

5. Have I reported this?

If you’re injured on the job, you need to tell the onsite supervisor and your branch representative. No matter how minor, your injury should be reviewed and taken care of. Sometimes what may seem like a small injury can turn into something much more serious. Feel free to contact the PeopleReady NurseLine to speak with a nurse about the injury and get help on what to do next. As they always say, better safe than sorry.

6. Am I up to date?

On safety training, that is. When you first start working with PeopleReady, you’ll go through a general safety assessment so we can understand how familiar you are with safety procedures and best practices. You can continue to grow your safety understanding and training with PeopleReady through various certifications, like OSHA 10, that provide you with the important safety info you need.

The top three workplace injuries that cause workers to lose workdays are overexertion, contact with or struck by objects/equipment, and slips, trips, and falls. Fortunately, these types of injuries can be prevented much of the time with a bit of foresight and awareness. We’re here to help with that.

5 Resume Tips That Job Seekers Should Know

Here are some tips to help you shine and overcome some resume obstacles—and prove to your future employer that you’re their ideal candidate.

November 7, 2020

Hand writing on paper

You may not have a lot of prior experience, or maybe there are gaps in your employment. Here are some tips to help you shine and overcome some resume obstacles—and prove to your future employer that you’re their ideal candidate.

Write Concisely

Regardless of your experience,  make sure your resume is easy to understand. Communicate well and make it readable, and don’t use wacky fonts or design styles. Be sure to use proper job titles. For example, using “Refuse Dispensing Engineer” or “Waste Management Professional” may make it confusing for the potential employer to understand. Be sure to format your resume correctly, align all of the columns and ensure it was written in an acceptable “resume style.” Clean and concise is best.

Use Proper Grammar

Any resume should be error-free. If you are not a great speller/writer, be sure to have another set of eyes proofread for spelling and grammatical errors. Even the best writers make mistakes. That’s why authors have editors.

Use Relevant Keywords

Be sure that you are including keywords that best fit your experience, beefing up your most recent positions. If you were a warehouse worker, be sure to add a sentence or two about some of the tasks that you performed. Employers will be looking for keywords that fit the jobs they have available and the more detailed your resume, the better your chances of landing an interview.

Focus on Skills 

What skills have you learned and gained from your past experiences that you can bring to a future employer? More important than titles, more important than the names of the companies where you worked in the past, are the skills you will bring with you.

Share Your Experiences

Some opportunities may not seem like a good fit at first, but be open to different levels of work. Be clear on what you can do, and what jobs you want going forward. This type of information can easily be added as your opening resume objective. Your experience in a different industry than the one you are applying for may apply nicely. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge that you may be new to the industry, but are confident in your ability to transfer your skills from previous experience.

Define Your Past Positions

Have you had a large reduction in responsibility? For example, were you previously a plant manager but in your most recent position, a retail sales clerk? Potential employers may wonder what happened. Just be prepared to explain why. Were you looking to try something new? Did you get laid off and needed to find something else rather quickly? Be upfront about topics that some employers may perceive as a concern.

Demonstrate Commitment

Employers want to see that you have stayed long enough at previous employers to add value, learn new skills, and build longevity and loyalty with the company. Too many job shifts in too short a time period may suggest that you won’t stick around for them either. Also: Are there gaps in your employment? Be prepared to have a conversation about this during an interview or simply note this in your resume. Employers want to hire those who are going to commit to their company.

You have unique talents and gifts that will be an asset to some lucky employer. Follow these tips, and let your resume rise above the rest. At PeopleReady, we understand the interview process can be intimidating, that’s why we take pride in helping our associates prepare for the next step in their career. 

Know These 4 Safety Musts for the Job Site

You need to know these 4 safety tips before heading to any job site. Read our blog with tips from the safety experts at PeopleReady here.

August 12, 2019
job site safety

Your safety on the job site is paramount. Whether you know it or not, you’re the most important person to someone. So ensuring you’re taking all the steps you can to protect your health and well-being should always be top of mind. However, when you work a number of jobs with rotating job sites, locations and duties, it can be difficult to know what to expect from your work each day.

With just a little bit of preparation and insight, you can be steps ahead for safety and make sure you’re heading home at the end of the shift safe and sound. Read 4 simple ways that PeopleReady says will help you put safety first:

Mind Your Schedule

You know your schedule better than anyone. A recruiter, manager, boss, supervisor, or co-worker won’t know if you pulled an all-nighter studying or had back-to-back shifts the day before. It’s important that you get the rest and recovery time you need to be alert and focused on the job – and you’re the best person to know when that time will be. With flexible work, the shifts and hours aren’t always your normal 9-to-5, meaning you can decide what shifts work with your schedule and allow for the time you need for your health. Think about any events, activities, or obligations that might affect your schedule—and then find shifts that work around and with your needs.

Knowledge is Power … and Safety

The more you know about a job site before you head there, the better off you’ll be. From the personal protective equipment (PPE) to the location to the conditions, learn as much as you can about what to expect before you even leave for the shift. When you have a clear understanding of the type of work you’ll be doing and what’s needed, you can be sure to prepare in advance and come equipped with everything you need to do your job safely.

Health + Safety Go Hand-in-Hand

Do you think about your health and safety as separate? Your health is how you feel day-to-day, whether you’re sick or feel well generally. When you feel ill or like you might not be up to the tasks being asked of you at work, you’re much more likely to have an unsafe experience. For example, if you have a fever and spend several hours outside as a flagger, your conditions could worsen making it difficult to pay attention to your work. When you’re not alert on the job, mistakes can happen – and can put your safety at risk. That, in turn, puts others at risk, too. If you feel your health isn’t up to par, listen to your body and don’t do work where your safety could also be in jeopardy. We understand that health issues come up and make it so you can’t go to work: make sure you contact your recruiter or branch rep as soon as you feel you can’t work. Maintaining a good relationship with the customer is important so you have the opportunity to work once you’re feeling well again.

Your Skill Set Matters

Even within the same industry, not all jobs are the same. Some will require skills that you may not have yet while others are ideal for your abilities. Rather than put yourself in front of potential hazards by trying to do a job you’re not skilled for, focus on roles where you can do your best and do it safely. If your goal is to work jobs where specific skillsets might not even be required, but necessary, let your branch rep know. There are plenty of resources, classes, and certifications available to you so you can safely head in to a work setting and excel without putting your safety at risk.

Work with a staffing partner who values your safety as much as you and your loved ones do. Even better, find a staffing partner that builds these precautions into their processes so you have the support you need. You can use an app like JobStack to tick off these safety boxes, with the ability to see job information and requirements before you decide to take them, have access to your branch rep through text message and mobile, and look at the different shifts available. Learn more about how to make JobStack work for you!

PeopleReady specializes in quick and reliable on-demand labor and highly skilled workers. PeopleReady supports a wide range of blue-collar industries, including construction, manufacturing and logistics, waste and recycling, and hospitality. Leveraging its game-changing JobStack platform and 600-plus branch offices across all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Canada, PeopleReady served approximately 98,000 businesses and put more than 490,000 people to work in 2020.