Are Independent Contractors Protected by Employment Laws?

Independent contractors are typically workers who are considered to be in business for themselves. Other companies typically hire independent contractors to fulfill special roles or provide skills the employer’s workforce currently lacks.

Because they are considered to be operating their own businesses, independent contractors are also considered free from certain expectations, such as abiding by a set schedule or being managed by the hiring company as an employee might be.

If you are employed as an independent contractor, this status matters. The differences between an independent contractor and an employee go far beyond how you report your income to the IRS – each of these statuses comes with consequences for how the law does and does not protect you.

Independent contractors, unfortunately, are not protected by ANY employment laws.

This means filing a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will fall on deaf ears unless you can prove you’ve been misclassified as an independent contractor. Coverage under the EEOC is important because it protects employees against discrimination, ensures them the right to earn at least the federal minimum wage, and the right to earn overtime pay.

Similarly, employment laws in California only apply to employees – leaving independent contractors mostly vulnerable to exploitation and discrimination without recourse. This is possible because the law simply doesn’t regard independent contractors as employees. When an independent contractor is hired to do work, the government is more likely to recognize it as a business-to-business relationship.

Misclassification Also Matters

Being misclassified as an independent contractor is grounds for a lawsuit. Sometimes employers seek to alter the real status of their employees to avoid paying their workers minimum wages, overtime pay, certain payroll taxes, and indemnify themselves against anti-discrimination lawsuits.

If you believe you’ve been misclassified as an independent contractor, we at Limonjyan Law Group can help. Our employment law attorneys can help workers who believe their rights are being violated. This includes those who believe their employers are misrepresenting their true employment law status to avoid providing them with certain protections provided by law.

If you need legal assistance, reach out to us today to schedule a consultation. Get in touch with Limonjyan Law Firm by contacting us online or calling (213) 377-6707.
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