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TST: Independent Contractors vs. Employees: A Discussion

A convenience and cost-cutting approach used by small production companies is “outsourcing work” to independent contractors. This is instead of recognizing those workers as employees. Independent contractors don't require overhead and benefits, and if the employer decides it no longer needs their services, terminating the position is done with ease. But there are legal issues involved in this designation and if you aren't in compliance, you can find yourself in trouble.

This TST will explore the designation of employee vs. independent contractor with professionals on-hand to talk about legal implications, budgeting, and more. 

Come on out, join us for a glass of vino, and listen to smart panelists impart their wisdom on us. 

As always, WIF events are open to women and men. Currently members get in for free. All others pay $6.


Mel Crumb is L&I’s Employer Services Outreach and Education Specialist. In this position she explains workers’ compensation rules and regulations to make it is easier to do business with L&I. She has a strong commitment to make information accessible for everyone by breaking complex subjects down into manageable bites. Mel has been with L&I for 4 years and holds a Bachelor’s of Science from The Evergreen State College.

Joanne Ort is the Founder and Chief Accountant of Ort CPA, a Seattle-based innovative accounting firm specializing in small business bookkeeping, payroll, and taxes. She has been providing the arts and entertainment industry and has worked with productions such as Strowlers, The Console Wars, and Sold. She has been a trusted Board Member and Treasurer for Women In Film since 2009. Joanne received her Certificate in Film and Television Finance from Pepperdine University. She also holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and a Master's degree in Accounting with a concentration in Tax, both received from University of Washington. She is a Certified Public Accountant and a Quickbooks Advanced Certified Pro Advisor.

Melissa Purcell is a production designer and prop master in the media industry with credits that include Rushmore, Smoke Signals as well as local and national commercials. Melissa has served on the Women in Film Board and is currently on the Board of IATSE 488.

Later Event: December 11
Holiday Party