Just Short of Employment
The Department of Labor has recently made it clear that gig workers, those who drive for Uber, Lyft, Postmates etc., are not to be considered employees but rather contractors working on their own time. This decision will help big companies such as Uber and Postmates with lawsuits accusing them of wrongly classifying workers as independent contractors instead of their employees.
The Department of Labor said that gig workers make their own hours, select where to work, and often work alone, which was enough to classify them as contractors. This decision will hit low wage workers the hardest. By having more flexibility in their work schedule than full time employees it also means that they don’t get the benefits of a full time job. Health insurance, paid sick days, overtime, and the right to unionize are just some of the benefits not available to them. The DOL’S decision hurts the chances of low wage workers to advocate for benefits because these companies can now turn to the DOL decisions as reason why they shouldn’t get benefits.