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On the heels of the NYC Council passing (and the mayor signing into law) a bill requiring minimum payments for ride-sharing drivers and a one-year freeze on the number of ride-sharing vehicle licenses issued, the NYC Council just passed another six new bills aimed at protecting both taxi drivers and ride-sharing drivers. The bills, approved by the Council on November 14 and expected to soon be signed into law by Mayor DeBlasio, are focused not only on drivers’ pay, but also on the financial and mental well-being of drivers in the wake of a spate of recent driver suicides and some of the more macro-economic issues facing the taxi and ride-sharing industries in NYC.

What would it be like if Care.com and Uber had a baby? A handful of Uber-like rideshare services that have sprung up across the country are illustrating exactly what would happen. These start-ups target well-off parents who are short on time and have kids with multiple obligations after school and on weekends. They offer safe, reliable, pre-scheduled rides to get unaccompanied kids and teens where they need to go.

One of our firm’s most prolific writers and most astute analysts of all things related to workplace law in California, Ben Ebbink (Sacramento) wrote a recent post-election entry for the firm’s California Employers Blog entitled “What Will A Governor Newsom Mean For California Employers?” The entire post is worthy of your review, but two portions of his blog entry particular focus on the gig economy. Here are those two excerpts:

One of the drawbacks of entering the gig economy as a worker is that gig businesses are somewhat hamstrung by current law from providing a raft of benefits usually associated with full-time employment. That’s because companies that provide such benefits could run themselves into a problem by casting themselves close to the “employer” side of the misclassification debate. It’s a concern we have frequently written about, most recently just last month when Uber announced vague plans to begin offering benefits to its drivers. Now Lyft has joined the fray in a creative manner.

Frequent readers of our blog will recall our post from earlier this year where we referenced the efforts of gig economy company Handy to lobby legislators in a number of states to pass laws protecting the independent contractor status of individuals working in the online digital marketplace. That effort was recently successful in Tennessee.

Credit Uber with being one of the first companies to enter the gig economy space and changing the way the world thinks about the entire industry. The company now seems poised to change the way you think of Uber itself.

In many of the U.S.’s most congested cities, ridesharing is a way of life because owning a car is expensive and inconvenient. Among frequent riders, many use Uber and Lyft apps interchangeably depending on driver availability and cost. 

As students have started another school year this Fall, conversations often return to teachers’ pay and the disparity between what they are undoubtedly worth and what they actually earn. In fact, Time magazine dedicated a recent cover story to the economic realities of being a teacher in today’s society. Perhaps in recognition of the long-standing pay issues, many teachers now use the gig economy as a way to supplement their income.

According to a recently released study by American Express and Institutional Investor, we can expect to see a slight increase in the use of freelancers and contract workers in the year ahead.

Bill Gates once said “Information Technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don’t think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without the talking about the other.” The advent of the gig economy along with the integration of technology has changed the traditional job market. Employers may view technology as an obstacle, but it is crucial they get on board given the increased mobility of today’s workforce. They have no choice but to incorporate the latest technologies to stay competitive. Recently, the Chief Executive Officer of Shiftgig, Wade Burgess, wrote an article for Forbes.com discussing the three ways technology is changing the gig economy in 2018. 

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