Reclaim Your Worker Rights

What’s the difference between an independent contractor and an employee? And does it really matter? It turns out it really does! Getting misclassified could mean paying almost double in taxes and losing benefits you’re entitled to, including Social Security and unemployment compensation.

To help workers understand how to avoid misclassification, Philadelphia Legal Assistance’s Taxpayer Support Clinic collaborated with CUP and designers Mike Tully and Peter Gamlen to create Reclaim Your Worker Rights! The guide breaks down different tax forms for employees and independent contractors and explains how to avoid misclassification. It folds out into a poster that shows workers how to fight back if they’ve been misclassified, and how to get support to claim the benefits they deserve. 

Philadelphia Legal Assistance launched the guide at a panel they hosted with other legal advocates to explain misclassification and its tax consequences as well as how it intersects with Social Security, unemployment compensation, wage theft, and other labor violations. They are distributing the poster to thousands of low-income workers locally through their own clients and at outreach events and nationally through other Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites, other social service and legal assistance providers, and their network of Low Income Taxpayer Clinics.  

Resources & Links

Philadelphia Legal Assistance’s Taxpayer Support Clinic provides free advice and, in some cases, representation for taxpayers who have tax issues with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Mike Tully is a designer, writer, and researcher, currently working between New York City and New Haven, CT, where he is an MFA candidate at the Yale School of Art.

Peter Gamlen is an illustrator and designer. He has worked for such clients as The New York Times, Warby Parker, Google, The New Yorker, The Baffler, Stones Throw Records, The Guardian, New York Magazine, and many others. He lives in Brooklyn.

Making Policy Public is a program of the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP). CUP partners with policy advocates and graphic designers to produce foldout posters that explain complicated policy issues, like this one.

Funding Support

Support for this project was provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Special Thanks

William Cobb, Tianna Gaines-Turner, Carolyn Gil, Tepi Karl-Ennis, Barbara Kigozi, Gail Logan, Jessica Templeton, Angela Vogel, Maya Sari Ahmed, Christine Gaspar, Yasmin Safdie, Frampton Tolbert, and Annie Tor


  • CUP
  • Clair Beltran
  • Sucharitha Yelimeli

  • Philadelphia Legal Assistance
  • Lazlo Beh
  • Omeed Firouzi
  • Anthony Marqusee


Mike Tully

Peter Gamlen