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Uber Technologies Inc. Photo: Akos Stiller/Bloomberg

There is no question the gig economy has changed the way people work. However, it is not often clear whether a worker is an independent contractor or an actual employee. The difference is quite significant. An independent contractor will generally not be entitled to the myriad city, state, and federal labor and employment protections that apply to employees, and will not be eligible for employee benefits, such as health insurance or pensions.

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