Proposed Law Would Protect Independent Contractors From Employment Discrimination And Wage Theft

From Forbes, Patricia Barnes reports on a bill in Congress that would extend employment discrimination protections to independent contractors. It is noteworthy for protecting independent contractors from employment discrimination even if it is unlikely to pass. Patricia writes:

U.S. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., has introduced a bill in the U.S Congress that would amend five U.S. employment discrimination laws “to require that individuals who perform work for employers as independent contractors be treated as employees.” H.R. 4235 is called the Protecting Independent Contractors from Discrimination Act of 2019.

Additionally, the bill would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to require employers pay independent contractors the minimum wage and “time-and-a-half” overtime pay when people work over forty hours a week

If passed, the bill would allow independent contractors to sue employers for discrimination based on race, sex, religion, color, national origin, age, disability and genetic heredity as well as wage theft.

Norton’s bill has no cosponsors and is unlikely to gain much traction. However, it appears to be the first to acknowledge the American workplace has evolved faster than federal civil rights laws, leaving many American workers who once would have been protected from employment discrimination out in the cold.

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