Norton Introduces Bill Extending Federal Antidiscrimination Protections to Independent Contractors

Sep 3, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) reintroduced her Protecting Independent Contractors from Discrimination Act this week, which would extend the same federal antidiscrimination protections enjoyed by employees to independent contractors.

“Independent contractors, who often do the same work as employees, have almost none of the same protections, including health insurance, collective bargaining, retirement security and even antidiscrimination protection,” Norton said. “My bill focuses only on discrimination, such as discrimination based on race, age, and gender, from which every worker is entitled to be free.”

Norton’s introductory statement follows.

 

 

Statement of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton on the Introduction of

the Protecting Independent Contractors from Discrimination Act

August 31, 2021

            Today, I introduce the Protecting Independent Contractors from Discrimination Act, which would extend to independent contractors the same federal antidiscrimination protections enjoyed by employees. My bill would extend the following antidiscrimination statutes, which apply to employees, to independent contractors: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008.

In a Bureau of Labor Statistics 2005 analysis of the American workforce, approximately seven percent of workers were considered independent contractors. That number has surely only grown in the 16 years since that analysis with the growth of the so-called “gig economy.” A more recent poll estimates the number at 14 percent. Independent contractors, who often do the same work as employees, have almost none of the same protections, including health insurance, collective bargaining, retirement security and even antidiscrimination. My bill focuses only on discrimination, such as discrimination based on race, age and gender, from which every worker is entitled to be free.

I strongly urge my colleagues to support this legislation.

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