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6 Jan 2022

Megan Leonhardt, Fortune

USA: Federal regulators could be rethinking the status of gig workers

"Federal regulators could be rethinking the ‘contractor’ status of Uber and Lyft drivers and other gig workers," 28 Dec. 2021

The National Labor Relations Board, the federal agency that oversees private-sector labor practices, looks to be taking the first steps toward reconsidering how independent contractors are classified, in a move that could reignite the debate about the rights of workers at gig-economy employers including Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash. 

... [T]he NLRB called for companies, unions, and other interested parties to weigh in on whether a Trump administration standard for determining the independent contractor status of workers should be overturned.

... While the NLRB didn’t announce its motives, labor experts and journalists who cover the agency saw [the] announcement as a significant step toward making it easier for workers to gain full-fledged employee status.

... The App-Based Work Alliance, which includes DoorDash, Instacart, Lyft, and Uber among its members, said in a statement ... that policymakers need to listen to what workers want and to shape policies accordingly.

“App-based work is fundamentally different from traditional employee-based work, which is why people turn to it in the first place,” the alliance said. “One thing we consistently and overwhelmingly hear from workers is that they want to maintain their independence while also having access to benefits and protections.”