Is Gig Work a Job? Uber and Others Are Maneuvering to Shape the Answer

Author: Noam Scheiber, New York Times (USA), Published on: 26 March 2019

Uber and Lyft argue that their drivers are contractors because the drivers decide when, where and how long they work. Lyft says forcing it to classify them as employees “may require us to significantly alter our existing business model.”...

It was a potentially sweeping proposal from a Texas regulator: Companies that use a “digital network” to dispatch workers the way Uber does could label them contractors rather than employees. The proposal, made in December, was a turning point in a campaign that has played out in legislatures and courts in numerous states, and even in Washington, as Uber and other gig-economy companies have risen to prominence in recent years...

“This whole thing caught us by surprise,” said Jose Garza, executive director of the Workers Defense Project, a nonprofit group in Texas that helps workers fight wage theft and misclassification. For weeks, the impetus for the rule was unclear. A spokeswoman for the agency, the Texas Workforce Commission, publicly denied that it relied on “outside sources” when drafting proposals...

Uber, Lyft and Handy argue that their workers should be considered contractors because the workers decide when, where and how long they work. The companies say they are experimenting with ideas, like benefits, to improve workers’ economic security...

 

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Related companies: Handy Lyft Uber