This application process involves four phases that are described here. Please do not engage in phases 2, 3, or 4 unless invited to do so. Thank you for your interest in decriminalizing consensual adult prostitution in the U.S.
Decriminalize Sex Work
This job opening was announced on April 28, and DSW stopped accepting new job applications on May 13, 2021.
Decriminalize Sex Work (DSW) prefers for the Executive Assistant (EA) to live in the Austin area but, if not, then certainly somewhere else in the continental United States.
While the EA’s task list is well defined, it’s for the EA to organize their own work so as to meet all deadlines. Also, because it’s highly likely that the EA would need to work from a home office (or another location where other DSW staffers aren’t present), the EA should be a “self starter,” managing their own workload without relying on colleagues for daily inspiration.
As can be seen from the relatively small staff size — DSWork.org/team — there isn’t room for upward advancement (or even a lateral move) within the organization. As such, the EA would ideally be motivated by a passion for the organization’s mission and/or the feeling of a job well done, rather than an escalation of titles and authority.
1. BOOKKEEPING (35%)
The EA must have experience using QuickBooks (or the equivalent software) to maintain the organization’s bookkeeping. And while accountants aren’t disqualified from the EA position, the skills of an accountant are more than what DSW needs.
The EA is responsible for:
* paying all bills and depositing all revenues;
* reconciling QB with bank statements monthly;
* reconciling QB with credit-card statements monthly;
* serving as the point of contact for most vendors;
* paying independent contractors; and
* administering payroll and benefits for all employees.
2. HUMAN RESOURCES (15%)
The EA’s responsibilities in the realm of “human resources” are somewhat narrow and should not be compared to other companies’ human-resource officers, who oftentimes have authority over other employees, serve as pseudo-therapists or sounding boards, and so forth.
Rather, by process of elimination, the need to implement the following functions ends up falling in the domain of the EA:
* providing new employees with onboarding materials, as well as tying up loose ends with departing employees;
* understanding the details of the organization’s benefit plans for health insurance, retirement, and Health Savings Accounts;
* developing and “enforcing” processes for employees’ use of credit cards, the submission of receipts, and reimbursements for allowable expenses; and
* continually updating the staff manual, which contains the organization’s internal policies and methods of operation, while omitting topics that are covered “externally” by state and federal laws. (The EA doesn’t need to have serious knowledge of laws relating to employment or otherwise.)
3. GOVERNMENTS (20%)
The EA is responsible for interfacing with all levels of government in areas that involve the organization’s legal obligations. This includes:
* ensuring that QuickBooks is properly triggering monthly tax payments to various levels of government;
* ensuring that the organization is in compliance with ad-hoc government policies (such as workers comp in New York State);
* filing renewals of the organization’s charitable-solicitation registrations with state governments;
* maintaining the legal status of DSW as both a business and an employer in a handful of states;
* assisting with the periodic filings of campaign-finance reports for a Political Action Committee (PAC);
* assisting with the annual tax filings (the Form 990) with the IRS; and
* compiling and issuing annually the Form W2 and Form 1099 to the organization’s employees and independent contractors, respectively.
4. MEMBERSHIP DATABASE (20%)
Ideally, the EA would have previous experience with any kind of membership database or “content management system,” such as NationBuilder, Razor’s Edge, Salsa, or a similar system. At DSW, which uses Salsa, the EA …
* serves as one of two staffers responsible for updating the contact information of donors and non-donor supporters of the organization.
* issuing thank-you letters and emails to donors.
5. ASSISTANT TO THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR (10%)
The EA helps the organization’s Executive Director by:
* being in charge of the ED’s calendar, which includes scheduling meetings and other appointments with people inside and outside the organization;
* making all travel arrangements, usually for the purpose of attending conferences; and
* attending to miscellaneous and/or unforeseen tasks that would save the ED time.
While the five areas of responsibility above are job requirements, the following three skill sets are not mandatory, but rather highly valued. To wit, if two or three finalists for the EA position are equally qualified in all aspects of the job description, but only one applicant is a nearly flawless proofreader, that applicant would almost surely be hired.
A. PROOFREADING: DSW’s policy staffers don’t have time to proofread their colleagues’ writings, so the organization would greatly benefit from having an additional person on staff who could effectively proofreading most documents that are intended to be public.
B. SPANISH LANGUAGE: An EA who knows conversational Spanish would be a nice addition to the team, and an EA who writes well in Spanish would have enormous value.
C. POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS: Any organization that endeavors to change laws will automatically be in opposition to various government officials, organizations with missions that are at odds with DSW’s mission, and even DSW’s allies who engage in infighting. The air of conflict that underlies (but doesn’t consume) the organization’s day-to-day affairs can be vexing for sensitive individuals. On the other end of the spectrum are people who have worked on political campaigns, which are usually consumed by candidates attacking and lying about each other; hence, political campaigns are ideal training grounds for working at DSW.
COMPETITIVE COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS
The EA’s initial annual salary is between $40,000 and $50,000, depending on experience, with an annual raise of $1,000 to $5,000 triggered each January. In addition, DSW provides four benefits to all employees:
HEALTH INSURANCE: If an employee doesn’t already have health insurance through a spouse or other means, DSW will pay 100% of the employee’s health insurance. And if the employee wants to provide coverage for their partner and/or children, the employee can choose to have those extra family costs withheld (pre-tax) from the employee’s paychecks.
RETIREMENT PLAN: DSW offers what is called a “Simple IRA” plan to all employees (which is superior to the traditional IRA that most people are familiar with). With DSW’s Simple IRA plan, any employee can choose to withhold up to $13,500 (pre-tax) from their paychecks in 2021, for the purpose of investing the money in a professionally managed, outside investment fund. In addition, DSW will match the employee’s withholding on a dollar-for-dollar basis, up to a maximum of 3% of the employee’s gross salary.
HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNTS (HSAs): Any employee can choose to have a personal HSA. If so, the employee may withhold up to $3,600 (pre-tax) in 2021, which the employer deposits into the employee’s HSA debit-card account. This money can be used to pay for almost all medical expenses — most especially prescription drugs, co-pays for visits to a doctor’s office, and deductibles for medical procedures.
FLEXIBLE TIME OFF: The organization’s management philosophy is for employees to thrive within clearly defined job descriptions; to have significant latitude with how/when they accomplish their tasks; and to enjoy enormous freedom for when to take time off. This is accomplished through each employee simply counting their hours worked, with each full-time position requiring 1,920 hours per year; knowing this number allows employees to plan for three-day weekends, or two-week vacations, or simply dozens of 37-hour workweeks.
THANK YOU, AND GOOD LUCK!
Thank you for your interest in Decriminalize Sex Work and its sister organization, the Campaign to Decriminalize Sex Work. If you wish to apply for the EA position, please carefully follow all of the instructions that you should have already seen on a previous web page.
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