In the so-called “gig economy,” an increasing number of people in California are finding jobs as independent contractors instead of full-time employees. These people typically get paid by the job instead of the hour. This can give them more flexibility, but it also limits their benefits and workers’ protections. In November 2020, a proposition that was passed limited the number of contractors that can be treated as full employees.
What kinds of rights and protections do gig workers have?
Under the current law, gig workers aren’t entitled to the same benefits as full employees. For example, they’re not entitled to certain wage and hourly benefits like overtime pay. Their employers also don’t have to offer them benefits like health insurance, vacation time or sick leave. They also don’t have as much protection when it comes to issues like sexual harassment.
Many labor advocates have tried to change the labor laws by fighting for bills that require employers to recognize their gig workers as full employees. However, many workers are currently exempt from similar bills. As a result, their employers don’t have to give them overtime pay, health insurance or any of the other benefits that full employees are entitled to.
Employers that only hire gig workers don’t have to pay certain taxes and don’t pay into health insurance coverage. This often provides an incentive for employers to classify their employees as gig workers. However, it often leaves the employees without essential benefits.
Where can you go for help with employment disputes?
Whether you’re a gig worker or a full employee, you have certain rights under the law. If you feel that yours have been violated, an attorney could help you launch a case against your employer.