The Future of the Gig Economy, Labor Law, and the Role of Unions: How Will They Look Going Forward?
Annual Proceedings of National Academy of Arbitrators (2017)
46 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2017
Date Written: December 6, 2017
The article is concerned with the status of gig economy workers with relationships with multiple employers, first examining the conflicts which have emerged about whether workers are employees or independent contractors under modern labor law. Particular focus and attention is given to transportation, cases heard under the national labor relations act of 1935, as amended in 1947, first examining taxis, commercial trucking, Federal Express drivers, before an exploration of drivers for companies like Uber and Lfyt. The point made here is that gig workers, though different in form from certain traditional employees, posses most of the same basic characteristics. Attention is given to the class action cases which arise particularly under minimum wage legislation and the like. Penultimately a new and still unique Seattle ordinance providing for the rights of independent contractors to organize and engage in collective bargaining is discussed, with analysis of antitrust and preemption issues. Finally, the article concludes with a examination of both bargaining experiences outside the law and legislative proposals, including the provision of portable benefits designed as a surrogate for employee status.
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