Many times, it can seem as though the only difference between an independent contractor and an employee is who is responsible for deducting your taxes. Yet there are many other factors that differentiate contractors and employees under California law, and one major point is the protections offered to employees against discrimination, harassment, unfair wages and hours, wrongful termination and retaliation. As an independent contractor, are you afforded those same protections?
Working for a large corporate employer is often a difficult position for entry-level employees. Many workers assume that the policies such companies have in place are legal and enforceable. After all, the company surely employs an army of attorneys to make sure it complies with the law. Still, many Starbucks employees learned recently that the coffee shop giant may have instituted illegal labor practices for hundreds -- or even thousands -- of its workers.
While California has some of the most progressive, employee-focused workplace discrimination laws in the country, discrimination still happens based on a number of factors. One of these factors is a person's gender identity, whether they are transgender, genderqueer, genderfluid, two-spirit or nonbinary. So what does it look like when discrimination based on gender identity happens, how do you recognize it and are you protected against it?
We have all seen what happens when celebrities' intimate photographs are leaked to the public by vindictive exes and malicious parties. Yet such instances can happen to private individuals as well, with persons in power over them using possession of intimate or explicit images to coerce specific behavior out of them. This can even happen in the workplace; there are a number of ways employers can obtain intimate or embarrassing photographs of employees, including employees who may have more personal relationships with employers. If you are in such a situation, what are your options?
While discovering you are pregnant may be a cause for joy, before you welcome your little bundle of joy you must first navigate the difficulty of being pregnant in the workplace. While things might not be difficult before you begin to show, soon the effects of pregnancy on your body could impact your ability to work up to normal capacity even before you develop a hefty baby bump. You may fear that iif your pregnancy affects your performance, you could lose your job just when you need financial stability the most. But is it even legal for a California employer to fire you for being pregnant?