Posts tagged gig workers
California Court Rebukes War on Workers
March 16, 2023 // This obviously poses an existential threat to emerging app-based companies that rely on a contractor model, but it also posed an entirely predictable threat to many traditional professions where workers eschew the 9–5 cubicle or factory floor work model. When the Legislature codified Dynamex via Assembly Bill 5, which went into effect in January 2020, it exempted many industries — primarily those with the most influential lobbies. Nevertheless, economic destruction ensued. Companies eliminated jobs rather than hire people as salaried employees. Publications — including Vox, which ran a piece championing AB 5 — laid off its California stringers. Musical groups that relied on gig workers had to shutter their operations. All types of freelance workers — from photographers to sign-language interpreters to rabbis — suddenly found themselves in a pickle. The same Gov. Gavin Newsom who used his vast executive powers to suspend laws during the COVID pandemic refused to suspend AB 5, even as people who were forced to stay at home lost their stay-at-home freelance opportunities. Some Californians embraced the workaround of starting an LLC, but that imposed new costs on workers who already were struggling. Dynamex Operations West v. Superior Court of Los Angeles
Chicago saw a wave of new unions form in 2022. Getting to the bargaining table is the next challenge.
January 2, 2023 // But it’s not just Starbucks: In Chicago, museum workers at the Art Institute, faculty and staff members at its affiliated school and employees at the Newberry Library have all unionized this year. So have workers at Howard Brown Health, budtenders at Zen Leaf cannabis dispensaries and booksellers at Half Price Books in Niles. Baristas at four La Colombe Coffee Roaster locations filed for union elections in December. Thousands of graduate students at Northwestern and the University of Chicago filed petitions within two weeks of each other in November. For the hundreds of newly unionized workers in Chicago, the hard work has only just begun; now they must negotiate a first contract with their employers. Labor leaders see a contract as the gold standard for protecting workers’ rights and securing gains in areas like pay and benefits. But the process can take years.
Give Gig Workers A Real Break
November 18, 2022 // Polling data also back the idea that most gig workers want to be gig workers. In “Independent Work,” Ilana Blumsack and Scott Lincicome cite a finding that about 90 percent of survey respondents “were happier in independent work than in traditional jobs.” Only 11 percent wanted to find full-time traditional employment.
Taking the ‘Free’ Out of ‘Freelance’
November 3, 2022 // ...the Biden administration’s recent broadside against independent work, in the form of a new Department of Labor proposed rule for determining when a worker is properly classified as a contractor or an “employee” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (and thus subject to minimum wage, overtime, and other labor regulations). The rule is complicated and still preliminary, but most experts agree on its objective and likely result: to make it more difficult for workers to be classified as independent and thus to force many of them to be reclassified as employees, whether they like it or not.
Is the Uber, Lyft and gig economy battle over workers nearing its end game?
October 17, 2022 // Proposed Department of Labor rules stop short of classifying Uber and Lyft drivers as employees. But the Biden administration’s pro-worker bias has analysts wondering what may come next in the battle over the gig economy and union momentum in the U.S. workforce. In a worst-case scenario, costs could rise as much as 30 percent for on-demand transportation companies just getting to break even, analyst says, and that means fares may rise as well.
Commercial Producers Ink Neutrality Agreement With IATSE Over Unionizing Workers
October 17, 2022 // The grassroots group Stand With Production, which has collaborated with IATSE on the organizing campaign, announced the deal to its supporters in an email on Friday, and IATSE confirmed the news. A neutrality agreement essentially means that the employer (in this case, the AICP) agrees not to resist a union drive being spearheaded by Stand With Production and IATSE. production assistants, assistant production supervisors, production supervisors, line producers, rest periods, safety training, higher minimum wage rates, union health and pension plans and diversity and mentorship initiatives.
Biden Proposal Could Lead to Employee Status for Gig Workers
October 11, 2022 // The proposal is intended as a so-called interpretive rule that doesn’t have the legal force of a regulation specifically authorized by Congress, and it applies only to laws that the department enforces, such as the federal minimum wage. States and other federal agencies, like the Internal Revenue Service, set their own criteria for employment status, and the rule would not directly affect what they decided about the status of gig workers. But many employers and regulators in other jurisdictions are likely to consider the department’s interpretation when making decisions about worker classification, and many judges are likely to use it as a guide. As a result, the proposal is a potential blow to gig companies and other service providers that argue their workers are contractors, though it would not immediately affect the status of those workers.
Rideshare, retailers brace for tough U.S. independent contractor rule
September 28, 2022 // The meetings at the White House were one-sided, with officials at OIRA letting groups speak and not participating or asking follow-up questions, several employer sources said. They are interpreting that as a sign the Biden administration's mind is made up. Some of the groups have been trying, and failing, to convince the White House that any broad rule would hurt workers who want to remain independent and have flexibility...More than one-third of U.S. workers, or nearly 60 million people, performed some sort of freelance work.
Op-ed: Bringing Workers’ Sensibility to Local Government
September 26, 2022 // Electing more union members would ensure that local officials instead invest their energies in productive ways, such as building robust, worker-centered economies. Some forward-thinking local officials have used their authority to pass worker protection laws, to establish agencies for enforcing those safeguards and to create workers councils to take testimony on job-related issues, noted the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a Washington, D.C.-based thinktank, in a recent report. At Seattle’s Office of Labor Standards, for example, a full-time equivalent staff of 34 enforces 18 worker-centered ordinances, including those requiring paid sick time, employment opportunity and protections for gig workers.
Sunday Reading: LA Strip Club Dancers Fight For a Union
July 11, 2022 // The story follows a group of dancers employed at the Star Garden, a strip club in North Hollywood, who staged a walkout and launched a campaign to unionize.