Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1593853
 
 

Citations (1)



 
 

Footnotes (449)



 


 



Working the Crowd: Employment and Labor Law in the Crowdsourcing Industry


Alek Felstiner


affiliation not provided to SSRN

August 16, 2011

Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law, Vol. 32, No. 1, 2011

Abstract:     
This Article confronts the thorny questions that arise in attempting to apply traditional employment and labor law to “crowdsourcing,” an emerging online labor model unlike any that has existed to this point. Crowdsourcing refers to the process of taking tasks that would normally be delegated to an employee and distributing them to a large pool of online workers, the “crowd,” in the form of an open call.

The Article describes how crowdsourcing works, its advantages and risks, and why workers in particular subsections of the paid crowdsourcing industry may be denied the protection of employment laws without much recourse to vindicate their rights. Taking Amazon’s Mechanical Turk platform as a case study, the Article explores the nature of this employment relationship in order to determine the legal status of the “crowd.” The Article also details the complications that might arise in applying existing work laws to crowd labor. Finally, the Article presents a series of brief recommendations. It encourages legislatures to clarify and expand legal protections for crowdsourced employees, and suggests ways for courts and administrative agencies to pursue the same objective within our existing legal framework. It also offers voluntary “best practices” for firms and venues involved in crowdsourcing, along with examples of how crowd workers might begin to effectively organize and advocate on their own behalf.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 62

Keywords: Crowdsourcing, Employment, Labor, Cyberlaw

Accepted Paper Series





Download This Paper

Date posted: April 22, 2010 ; Last revised: August 17, 2011

Suggested Citation

Felstiner, Alek, Working the Crowd: Employment and Labor Law in the Crowdsourcing Industry (August 16, 2011). Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law, Vol. 32, No. 1, 2011. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1593853

Contact Information

Alek Felstiner (Contact Author)
affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 3,380
Downloads: 636
Download Rank: 22,850
Citations:  1
Footnotes:  449
People who downloaded this paper also downloaded:
1. The Future of Crowd Work
By Aniket Kittur, Jeffrey Nickerson, ...

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo1 in 0.313 seconds