The fast-growing gig economy provides flexibility & opportunity for millions of workers and consumers who use app-based platforms in Washington state & across the country. Billions of dollars are pouring into these new companies, but they often classify the people who work for them as “independent contractors” rather than employees in order to artificially lower their costs by dodging their basic responsibilities.
If app-based jobs are going to be the jobs of the future, they should have a future. People who work in the gig economy deserve the same basic rights & benefits as every worker needs: a living wage; access to basic benefits like workers' comp, unemployment, healthcare and retirement; and a voice in the laws and policies that affect their jobs.
The flexibility of app-based platforms offers tremendous value to workers, consumers, and the whole economy. Many workers love the flexibility of being able to work the hours they want, when they want to. Many consumers love the flexibility of being able to order goods and services on demand. And our whole economy benefits from new innovations that offer new opportunities and new efficiencies.
Billions of dollars are pouring into the industry, but many of these apps choose to classify the people who work for them as “independent contractors” instead of employees — even though app-based workers do work assigned to them by the app, typically at a rate set by the app, and are held to standards specified by the app, sometimes even working shifts scheduled through the app.
If your employer classifies you as an independent contractor, you don't get workers' comp if you're injured at work. You aren’t able to collect unemployment if you're "deactivated" from a platform and lose your ability to work. You aren’t reimbursed for your mileage. You don’t qualify for employer-based benefits like healthcare or retirement. And you aren’t even covered by the minimum wage.
This isn't an innovation, it's a legal loophole these companies are using to artificially lower their costs by dodging their basic responsibilities to workers. They're simply shifting costs from the company selling the service to the people doing the work — and to the public as a whole.
If app-based jobs are going to be the jobs of the future, they should have a future. Companies shouldn’t get to pick and choose whether their workers get the same basic rights and benefits that every worker needs.
Add your name to be a part of our campaign to win basic rights & benefits for workers in the gig economy. We can ensure that flexibility, opportunity, and innovation work for workers, consumers, and our whole economy.