Comparison of workplace legal protections for employees and for independent contractors in the United States

Labor standard Employee Independent contractor
Minimum wage X
Overtime pay X
Unemployment insurance √  X
Workers’ compensation √  X
Paid sick days √  X
Paid family leave √  X
Health and safety protections √  X
Right to a union √  X
Discrimination and sexual harassment protections √  X

Source: EPI analysis of federal and state laws. Employees receive these protections in places where they are statutorily prescribed.

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