The Animation Guild’s organizer Steve Kaplan has a post on Employer Of Record companies like MBO and Yurcor:
Word from the westside of town is artists working at The Mill in Santa Monica are paying their share of taxes .. as well as the employers.
The Mill has engaged Yurcor to act as the Employer of Record for the artists they employ. Officially, artists work for Yurcor and are “loaned out” to The Mill. Yurcor is therefore responsible for the reimbursement to the artists for their work time at The Mill.
IATSE labor attorney and organizer Jim Goodman also has his analysis on the issue (and in my opinion knocks this one out of the park):
At the Mill, employees aren’t given the choice! They are required to go through an “Employer of Record”, which essentially says two contradictory things:
1. you are an independent contractor. and your own employer. so you have to pay “employer” share of payroll taxes. that’s an added cost to you. Around $10,000 per year.
2. and you are also an employee. Of who? or should I say, of what???
VFX artist Joe Harkins (who I welcome back to the vfx bloggin world) also has a post on the issue (with my emphasis in bold) :
What’s the solution?
There’s another tough question. I think it’s partially the artists fault for being, well, somewhat gullible. Then you top that off with the greediness of the VFX companies we work for surviving on thin margins, and there you have it. The clients aren’t going to start paying more, there’s too much competition for that. This is capitalism at work. In my opinion, unless all the artists at these companies reject paying 15% to an EOR company and force their companies to ante up and start paying the difference, then likely nothing will change.
At the end of the day, we as VFX artists are losing this game.
We must be collectively intelligent in order to make good decisions about our financial futures. Just going with the flow is too easy. I realize most people can’t take a stand, after all, they want to work and get paid, but seriously…
Here’s my simple opinion on this. It’s pretty obvious some facilities are doing this to cut corners. If this was legal EVERY facility would have used these EOR services ages ago. Many of them avoid it because they run the risk of some big legal trouble.