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Workers may not all have the same workplace rights

Those who work as independent contractors lack many protections afforded to employees. They also generally lack many of the benefits that employees are given such as vacation pay and a 401k. In many cases, those who provide services as an independent contractor in New York don't fully know their rights. For instance, one man was terminated from a position at WorldatWork despite receiving favorable reviews from his students.

The 70-year-old claimed that it was an example of age discrimination. However, as a contractor, he was not protected by age discrimination laws that generally apply to employees 40 and over. Workers should not assume that they are independent contractors just because a company says so. The IRS reviews many different factors when it comes to whether a person is a contractor or an employee. This is an important distinction when determining who pays income and payroll taxes.

Ultimately, a person may be labeled an employee if a company exerts a certain level of control over his or her work. Employees may want to review the SS-8 form provided by the IRS that has 50 questions used to determine a worker's true classification. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 14 percent of American workers said that they were contractors or worked in alternate employment scenarios.

Those who are victims of ageism or other discrimination in the workplace may have ways to hold their employers accountable. It may be a good idea to speak with an attorney about the case before taking legal action. An attorney may be able to clarify a worker's classification and explain how it may impact his or her right to file a lawsuit. Individuals who are classified as independent contractors might be able to take steps to get their classification changed to employee.

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