For many individuals, self-employment as an independent contractor can be a rewarding and satisfying career option. As is true with any employment relationship you enter, it’s important to understand the roles and responsibilities of everyone involved.
Q6. Am I protected by the same employment laws as an employee?
In general, independent contractors are not protected by employment laws since they are self-employed. (The area of employment law is very complicated, and laws vary by state; questions about specific situations should be addressed to legal counsel.) For example, laws that provide for a safe work environment, free from health risks, harassment, or discrimination, protect the rights of employees but may exclude independent contractors. This underscore the critical importance of a written agreement that spells out how the relationship will function, what the expectations are on both sides, and how payment and work performance will be handled.