Gig Economy Updates – Posted July 17, 2020
As workers throughout the country are laid off as a result of the coronavirus, they are increasingly turning to gig work to make ends meet. Companies like InstaCart and Postmates have seen a surge in new workers. Online platforms, like Fiverr and UpWork, which allow people in different industries to sell their skills, have also seen an uptick in new users.
Although these gigs might seem like a good way to make ends meet during this challenging time, the surplus of available workers has created a race to the bottom. Many delivery companies now have more drivers than deliveries, making even getting a single run challenging. Some people have even tried to profit off of the current situation by creating bots that will nab available time slots/deliveries, and then selling those jobs back to workers.
Workers who take these jobs are often classified as independent contractors, so they are not afforded the same protections as employees, even though in reality they may actually be employees. Some states are already implementing new rules about gig work to protect workers. California recently passed legislation that classifies Uber drivers and Postmates workers as employees, and a New York court recently ruled that Postmates workers are employees. These protections at least guarantee the workers the minimum wage and overtime wages for working more than 40 hours in a week.
You can read more about the gig economy here: https://time.com/5836868/gig-economy-coronavirus/