Employment Class Actions and the Gig Economy in the US and UK, and Implications for Canada

19 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2020

See all articles by Alexandra Monkhouse

Alexandra Monkhouse

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Peter S. Spiro

University of Toronto - Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation, School of Public Policy and Governance

Date Written: February 25, 2020

Abstract

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

Monkhouse, Alexandra and Spiro, Peter, Employment Class Actions and the Gig Economy in the US and UK, and Implications for Canada (February 25, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3548317 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3548317

Alexandra Monkhouse

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Peter Spiro (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation, School of Public Policy and Governance ( email )

720 Spadina Avenue, Suite 218
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2T9
Canada

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