Gawker is tracking developments over at Viacom, where permalancers--permanent employees who are classified as contract workers in order to save a company money on benefits and payroll--are chafing under new rules. Apparently, Viacom has instituted a new 50-hour work week (which saves them money on overtime), and is cutting benefits. Throughout New York State, misclassification of workers is a serious problem. In fact, Governor Spitzer has formed a task force to investigate it. When people who should be considered full-time employees are forced to work as contractors, they lose all kinds of benefits (such as vacation) and certain workplace protections. It's an entirely different matter than freelancers who choose to work independently. If you're a worker who's been misclassified, report it to the NYS Department of Labor.