California’s new employment law has boomeranged and is starting to crush freelancers

California’s new AB 5 employment law takes effect Jan. 1, 2020, and freelancers are already feeling the squeeze with a decline in business and income. The law codifies the ABC test — which helps employers determine who should be classified as a freelancer — giving exemptions to some types of freelancers, such as architects, doctors, […]

DoorDash Must Arbitrate Misclassification Suit, Couriers Say

More than 2,200 DoorDash Inc. couriers want the on-demand delivery company to abide by the arbitration agreements it uses to thwart would-be litigants and also are suing to stop the company from issuing new agreements to the drivers. The DoorDash couriers attempted to file individual arbitration claims that they’re misclassified as independent contractors, as opposed […]

The gig economy’s deepest problem isn’t about tech at all

The giants of the gig economy, from Lyft and Uber to Grubhub and Instacart, like to claim that they’re technology companies—and they’re certainly valued like tech unicorns. But according to Bhairavi Desai, the executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, which represents 21,000 professional drivers who drive everything from yellow cabs to town cars […]

Will food delivery companies follow California’s new law to regulate the gig economy?

…But the independent contractor setup is baked into the business model of many of the tech companies affected by AB5. After all, having real employees can get expensive. You’re on the hook for a share of Social Security and Medicare. If you have more than 50 employees, you’re required to offer health insurance and pay […]

If Uber Drivers Become Employees, Can Uber Escape That? Plus How Employees Compete With Robocars

A law making its way through the California legislature would require certain “gig work” companies to treat their gig workers as employees rather than independent contractors. Most people think the law is aimed squarely at Uber, Lyft and the like, but Uber claims it won’t apply to them, and there is skepticism of that. If […]

AB 5 Update: California Senate Committee “Suspends” Discussion, For Now

With the resumption of the current legislative session on August 12, 2019, the California Senate Appropriations Committee briefly considered Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5), the legislature’s purported solution to the California Supreme Court’s opinion in Dynamex v. Superior Court (Dynamex).  In Dynamex, the Supreme Court abruptly changed longstanding law governing worker classification, and exposed thousands of California businesses to […]

Postmates CEO Bastian Lehmann Says Gig Economy Has Wronged Workers

Unlike his fellow chief executive officers who rely on contract workers, Postmates’ Bastian Lehmann wants a push for improvement of workforce conditions. As workers’ demands for better pay and reasonable hours increase, the gig economy is under more scrutiny than ever. … “We need a comprehensive approach that ends this confusion and empowers gig workers without taking away their flexibility […]

This Bill Could Destroy Uber’s Unsustainable Business Model

An unholy alliance of on-demand companies is desperately trying to stop a California bill from reclassifying their independent contractors as employees. Last week, the California Senate’s Labor, Public Employment and Retirement Committee held a hearing and passed Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), which promises to make it harder for companies to claim workers are independent contractors […]

Are the Uber and Lyft Bubbles about to Burst?

…The upshot of all of this is that it’s remarkably difficult for rideshare drivers to make minimum wage, which has led to the recent push in the California assembly to reclassify them as employees, rather than independent contractors. This would mandate minimum wages, health benefits, and sick leave — and could cost Uber and Lyft […]

Uber and Lyft try to blunt a court ruling that their drivers are employees

It was clear almost from the first that the California Supreme Court, in a ruling in April 2018, threw the business models of Uber and Lyft companies for a loop. The thrust of the ruling was that drivers for those companies had been improperly classified as “independent contractors” when in fact they’re employees, entitled to […]