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What labor laws protect independent contractors?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides several work place protections for employees. These include ensuring that all workers be paid at least minimum wage and non-exempt employees are entitled to earn overtime compensation for all hours worked in excess of 40 in any work week.

Further, Title VII provides protection against discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, color and national origin. Other federal laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) provide additional protections based on disability and age, respectively.

"Gig" employees are often not entitled to these protections. However, this doesn't mean that independent contractors are left without recourse.

According to a recent report, more than 15 million workers make a living as independent contractors. One law that may protect them is Section 1981, which is also intended to prohibit employment discrimination especially in the area of race or ethnicity. Further, many state and local laws exist that provide protections to workers, including higher minimum wage requirements, and broader definitions as to who may be considered an employee. Finally, many workers may also be considered independent contractors/gig workers, when in actuality they should be defined as employees.

As the modern workplace evolves, it is important to ensure you are receiving all the compensation and protections you are entitled to. For more information or to answer any of your work place questions, please contact the knowledgeable Georgia wage and hour lawyers at Buckley Beal, LLP for an immediate consultation.

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