“Independent Contractor” My Ass: How to Stop Wage Theft Through Worker Misclassification

Every year, wage theft robs millions of American workers of billions of dollars—and worker misclassification is one of its most widespread, evil forms.

There are crystal-clear guidelines on the difference between independent contractors and employees. And a lot of employers steal from their workers by ignoring them. Today, I’m going to break the differences down for you. See if you recognize yourself, a friend, or a family member in these wage-theft-vulnerable positions.

If you are in a misclassification situation, your employer has stolen your wages. But there’s good news! You have recourse to get my two favorite things: money and justice! You can seek tax reimbursements, backpay, unpaid overtime, worker’s compensation benefits, and more for the years you were misclassified. And you can report your exploitative employer and get them into a wet mess of trouble.

Not to toot my own horn, but did you notice how I managed to say “misclassification situation” and not follow it with “truly an inspiration, it’ll be a sensation, we’ll have a Dalmatian plantation?

And did you further notice that I didn’t go on a secondary digression about how Anita from 101 Dalmatians can absolutely get it? Yeah, that’s because I’m a professional. I’m on-topic as shit. Plus, it’s not really even debatable…

If you say she's not a babe, that's some worker misclassification right there.

Note: Sorry, international readers! We’re talking exclusively about American labor law today. Go grab a non-cheeseburger food item of your choice and come back next week.

Read More

The FIRE Movement, Explained

Am I really writing about the FIRE movement? Seven years into running what is, ostensibly, a FIRE movement blog? Why yes, I am!

We’ve published over 400 articles for Bitches Get Riches. It’s possible that one day we’ll stop because we’ve run out of things to say. But today ain’t that day.

A day may come when I'm over the FIRE movement. But it is not this day!

Today, I’m explaining a concept so important to us—so central and foundational to every aspect of our lives—that we forgot to write about it. For years.

What can I say? It’s peak me! When a friend comes to visit, I often meet them at the threshold, drag them inside, thrust food into their hands, and press them to name their favorite title card from the original Batman: the Animated Series before I remember to actually, y’know, greet them. A tiny minority of people find this blunderbuss communication style charming. I’m grateful to them! I collect them! And if you’re still reading our blog after such a glaring long-term omission, congratulations: you’re a part of my collection.

If this is your first time hearing about the FIRE movement, sit down. Get comfortable. I might have the privilege of changing your life—and I want us both to enjoy it.

Read More

The Expensive Difference Between Recreation and Recovery

Bitchlings, I am exhausted. Yet I’m also kind of… bored? Or not bored, but lacking in enrichment. The zoo enclosure that is my life is simultaneously stressful and dull in a way that I had trouble putting into words until recently.

As alert readers know, I recently read Barbara Sloan‘s excellent book Tipped: The Life Changing Guide to Financial Freedom for Waitresses, Bartenders, Strippers, and All Other Service Industry Professionals. Check out our interview with the author right here!

Reading Tipped gave me an epiphany: my exhaustion, my boredom, and my money stress are all symptomatic of a larger problem. When I’m not working, I’m spending too much time and money recovering from that work and not enough time and money simply in recreation. From Barbara’s book:

“Winding down after a shift, because of the shift, is a work expense.”

Barbara Sloan, Tipped
Poor Tiana does nothing BUT recover from work on her few hours off.

In other words, spending time recovering from your work is a cost of that work. Spending money recovering from your work is a cost of that work. And that’s a problem.

Read More

Predatory NDAs Just Got a Lot Harder To Enforce

The topic of nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) has been the perennial runner up in our Patreon polls for future article topics for years. They’ve been edged out at least four times by sexier, more topical topics. But today they’re finally getting their place squarely in the middle of the sunbeam that is my attention!

Much like Piggy and I, NDAs have been running amok for about thirty-five years, getting stronger and more belligerent all the time. But unlike us, it seems they’ve peaked.

NDAs, unlike Dennis and I, have peaked.

Within the last six months, three major changes have drastically reduced the enforceability of predatory NDAs.

These changes provide general protection to all impacted employees, and specific protections for victims of sexual harassment. With this, it seems the power and popularity of predatory NDAs is finally waning. And workers are gaining back ground they never should’ve lost.

Read More

6 Lessons YOU Can Learn from the Silicon Valley Bank Crash

When news of the Silicon Valley Bank crash broke, I sighed deeply. Because sighing deeply is the age-appropriate version of a toddler pounding their fists on the floor screaming “I don’ wanna, I don’ wanna, I DON’ WANNA!” That’s always how I feel when I have to understand some complicated new brouhaha caused by oligarchs’ greed, when all I truly need in this life is more naptime.

Guys, don’t worry. Because I am a grown-up woman with finely tuned coping mechanisms, I worked through my tantrum and I did it! I understand what the hell happened to Silicon Valley Bank.

Paragon of intellectual generosity that I am, I’m going to explain it back to you. 

If you want an in-depth, technical breakdown, this ain’t gonna be it. I’m going to focus on what this means for us plebs. That means skipping all the boring parts, creatively employing childish metaphors, recklessly speculating about its impact on the future of the economy, and oversimplifying absolutely everything.

Complex, dense financial topics explained by babies, for babies. That’s the Bitches Get Riches brand promise!

Read More

Here’s What to Do With Those Credit Card Pre-approval Offers You Get in the Mail

You check the mailbox. In between the ubiquitous Bed, Bath & Beyond coupon, snail mail from your Aunt Clarita, and a bill you’d rather ignore, you see it: you’ve been pre-approved for a brand new credit card!

Holy shitballs, what luck! Of all the random folks with mailing addresses, you have been deemed special enough to receive a credit card pre-approval offer! Bring out your finest meats and cheeses, for surely this means you are that most superior of beings: a person worthy of credit! Dance about the maypole and imbibe your most decadent libations!

You should call your bestie, your family, your therapist! Things are looking up now that a credit card company has bestowed upon you a pre-approval offer. Cancel your evening plans, for you need to respond to this with… an application? For… a credit card? For which you’re already… “approved”???

Something’s off. If you receive a credit card pre-approval offer in the mail, shouldn’t that mean you don’t need to apply for it? Especially since you didn’t even ask them to consider pre-approving you.

Today we’re going to teach you what those credit card pre-approval offers are really all about. And we’ll show you exactly what to do with them. It’s easy, it’s fast, and anyone can do it! Read on to learn The Deep Magicke.

Read More

Season 4, Episode 12: “I’m Considering Moving Across the Country With My Partner. How Hard Is It To Start Over?”

IT’S THE BITCHES GET RICHES PODCAST SEASON FINALE!

That’s right, Bitch Nation. Our twelve-episode season has come to an end and we’re so grateful you’ve stuck with us for it all. And if you haven’t, then you’re dead to us. We value loyalty very highly. Don’t tell us you’re getting your dick jokes about money somewhere else.

This is the episode in which we become the dating advice column we’ve always wanted to be. Enough with this pErSoNaL fInAnCe nonsense! Bring on the marital strife and daytime talk show material! We have strong opinions and we are RIGHT!

Our discussion this week is packed with harrowing financial and relationship decisions. How do you know when you’re ready to move in with a significant other? And what if that means moving 900 miles to a whole different community? How do you start from scratch in a brand new place, with no one but your romantic partner for company?

Read More

2023 Student Loan Forgiveness Update: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Federal student loan forgiveness has been through a lot recently. She’s not looking pretty. She needs a massage. Her T-zone is breaking out. Which means this article does not reflect the current state of loan forgiveness. We’re leaving it up because we think it contains useful context. But if you want our most current news on student loan forgiveness, you can find it here.

Remember back in August of 2022 when we were all stoked to hear about the Biden Administration’s plan to forgive federal student loan debt? Yeah. Things have changed.

I’m here to update you on the status of federal student loan forgiveness. Shit’s complicated though, so if you didn’t read our FAQ about the program when it was first announced, you might want to get that background before reading any more. Go ahead, we’ll wait.

Now that you have the background, I’ll give you the latest on where federal student loan debt forgiveness stands, along with some guidance on what student loan borrowers can do from here. Spoiler alert: there’s Bitch-on-Bitch drama at the end.

Read More

Barbara Sloan’s New Book Dares To Suggest Service Industry Professionals Deserve Financial Stability Too

Last year at the EconoMe Conference in Cincinnati, Kitty and I were excited to meet many a cool human. Much to our general shock and consternation, many of those cool humans were excited to meet us too! And not just because we were like “Hi we’re friends with Paula Pant.”

This is where we met Barbara Sloan, founder of Tipped Finance. Barbara is a veteran of the tipped workforce: a former waitress, bartender, stripper, and several other tipped professions. More importantly, she’s also a huge money nerd. She has made it her mission to dispense financial know-how specifically tailored to service industry professionals! And she does it all with the fierce determination and tireless badassery we like to see in our women.

Read More
Season 4, Episode 8: "I'm Queer and Want to Find an Affordable Place to Retire. How Do I Balance Safety With Cost of Living?"

Season 4, Episode 8: “I’m Queer, and Want To Find an Affordable Place To Retire. How Do I Balance Safety With Cost of Living?”

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: the cost of living is higher for gay people. And it’s not just because we buy $30 pairs of underwear. That is a stereotype, you bigot. Andrew Christian Trophy Boys are only $23 a pop.

(I originally had a gif here from an Andrew Christian marketing spot. I decided to omit it for the sake of anyone reading this at work. The arrestingly bouncy nature of the model’s package as he pelvic-thrusted across the screen was designed to catch a manager’s eyes from fifty paces. I will replace it with a seemingly work-related gif to facilitate more subtle on-the-clock browsing. See? I’m always looking out for you, beloved readers!)

Queer cost of living perfectly encapsulated in a gif. I'm telling you, it's scientifically impossible for a gif to resonate any more with the queer community than this one.

In our classic article Ten Ways That Sexual and Gender Identity Affect Finances, we highlighted a few of the complex social and institutional structures that make it harder for queer people to accumulate wealth. But one thing we didn’t really touch on? Location, cost of living, and their outsize impact on queer people’s finances. But thanks to a letter from a righteously pissed-off Patreon donor, we’re diving into that today.

Read More