Can I pay a current W-2, 1099 employee for piece work separately from his main part-time hourly responsibilities? This work would be blog articles to be written away from the office with no direction, and then we'd decide which articles to buy. Is there a better way to handle this? Our business is in Oregon, in case our state is pertinent.
Based on your description of the nature and arrangement of the offsite work, I believe that you can do this. You must be careful that the employee is not working more than 40 hours a week doing both "jobs" since the Fair Labor Standards Act requires that workers be paid time and one-half of their aggregated average hourly rate for hours worked over 40 in any single work week.
Researchers found that people who are regularly bombarded with several streams of electronic information cannot pay attention, recall information or switch from one job to another as well as those who complete one task at a time.