Employment Class Actions and the Gig Economy in the US and UK, and Implications for Canada
19 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2020
Date Written: February 25, 2020
Around the world, traditional forms of business and employment are being disrupted by new global corporations based on internet apps and platforms. These often provide precarious “Gig Economy” work. In some cases, these are the only option for people who no longer have access to traditional paid employment. Often this is because the traditional local employers have been driven out of business by the new competition.
A number of approaches are being taken to help prevent the erosion of employment standards in this environment. One factor that has had some measure of success in behavior modification is the class action on behalf of misclassified workers. Ultimately, the best solution may be legislative reforms that broaden the definition of employee. An intermediate category, such as the "dependent contractor" definition recognized in Canadian law, may provide a guide to how this should be approached.
Keywords: gig economy, self-employment, independent contractor, employee, labor standard
JEL Classification: J08, J38, K31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation