“We’re working in an industry that is perceived as frivolous, and so our concerns are not taken seriously,” argues Ziff. “But we’re still doing a job, and we should be treated fairly, just like anyone else who works for a living. So we shouldn’t have to endure sexual abuse.”
We don’t know just how many U.S. workers today are classified as independent contractors, or just how many ostensibly non-employment arrangements would stand up as such under scrutiny. (The federal Department of Labor, which commissioned a 2000 study suggesting that between 10 and 30 percent of employers misclassify employees, is reportedly working on a new one.) But progressives point to a range of industries in which contracting has become increasingly prevalent. The National Employment Law Project’s Catherine Ruckelshaus ticks off a series: janitorial; home healthcare; drywall; restaurants. “They’re not really running their own, independent, economically self-sufficient business,” argued Ruckelshaus; in some cases, “it’s just one worker,” cleaning “a floor, or a restaurant, or a building. But they’re being called independent contractors.”
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