Customer Ratings as a Vector for Discrimination in Employment Relations? Pathways and Pitfalls for Legal Remedies
Proceedings of the Marco Biagi Conference 2018
17 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2018 Last revised: 18 Apr 2018
Date Written: January 31, 2018
The use of customer ratings to evaluate worker performance is increasingly worrisome because of its widespread use in the gig-economy. As scholars in computer and social sciences denounce, this practice entails the risk of producing discriminatory outcomes, by reproducing biases existing in society. By drawing an analogy with discriminatory practices adopted by an employer to satisfy its customers’ preferences, we propose a legal analysis of this phenomenon grounded in EU non-discrimination law. Thus, we first analyse the issues related to the application of non-discrimination law to (alleged) self-employed workers. Then, we address the lack of access for the individual worker to the data regarding customers’ ratings. We conclude by arguing that the use of customer ratings should be considered as a suspect criterion, while the current (EU) non-discrimination laws should be modernised through a clearer inclusion of (alleged) self-employed workers.
Keywords: discrimination, data protection, ratings, online platforms
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