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Uber & Lyft to compensate drivers quarantined or diagnosed with Covid-19

"Coronavirus forces companies like Uber and Lyft to reckon with workers' rights", 11 March 2020

Uber and Lyft achieved multi-billion dollar valuations by classifying drivers as independent contractors who are ineligible for benefits. Now the spread of coronavirus may force the gig economy to reform.

Both companies have announced funds to compensate drivers who have been quarantined or diagnosed with Covid-19, in response to pressure from those who say they cannot afford to take time off work even if they are sick.

The two weeks of compensation now being offered represent a concession in the fight gig companies have spent years and millions of dollars waging – that drivers are not full-time employees.

“Sick leave is something generally only provided to employees,” said Eve Wagner, a California-based employment attorney. “If you grant someone paid time off, that implies employee status.”...

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