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What employee rights do independent contractors give up?

When someone decides to be an independent contractor, instead of a standard employee, it comes with a number of differences. One is the tax forms that are given out, which are 1099s. These report earnings without taxes taken out, and contractors must then pay taxes like a business. So, what are some of the other key differences with regards to employee rights?

-- Contractors do not have the right to get paid overtime. They are simply paid by the job.

-- Contractors do not have a right to be paid minimum wage.

-- Contractors do not have traditional workers' compensation rights.

-- Contractors give up their right to unemployment insurance.

-- Contractors are not protected from discrimination, such as hiring practices that are based on race, since they are not technically being hired.

-- Contractors do not have unions or the protections that go along with them.

-- Contractors have to pay double for social security because the employer does not have to contribute on their behalf.

On top of these legal differences, contractors may lose out on some of the other perks of being full employees, such as holiday pay, paid time off if they want to go on vacation, employer-based health insurance plans, and more. Now, not all employers have to offer all of these, but contractors typically don't get them even from companies that do give them to their employees.

If you are deciding if you want to be a contract worker or look for a job as an employee, be sure you know the difference your classification will make when it comes to workplace rights.

Source: Can My Boss Do That?, "Independent Contractors," accessed Jan. 29, 2016

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