Are Contractors Safe From Workplace Discrimination

Dec 06, 2019

If you work a contract or gig job, you may be aware of the recent California law that requires companies to reclassify many workers as employees. But with challenges from transportation companies, you may still be a contractor without the protection of employment discrimination laws.

However, a new federal bill hopes to change that. The recently introduced bill would give contractors the same protections as employees. As of now, anyone who doesn’t have employee status does not have the protection of federal employment discrimination laws.

Discrimination laws protect all U.S. employees

All employees working in the United States have protections under both federal and state laws. These laws prohibit discrimination based on protected classes. They ensure that workers can get and keep a job based on their employability alone.

Employment discrimination laws do not cover contractors or gig workers

However, companies don’t have to offer these same protections to contractors. And with the rise of the gig economy, the definition of contractors has expanded. Even people who work full-time for a single company can be contractors. If these workers face discrimination from their company, there is no federal law that lets them seek damages.

California law will ensure many contractors now have employee status

With the new law going active in January, companies in California that rely on gig work must now offer many workers employment status. With the new status, these workers will have protection from discrimination.

However, if you find yourself still considered a contractor in 2020, you may not be safe from workplace discrimination.

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