As drivers, we are expected to do a lot of things for our “job.” While we can choose the hours we work, pay can be inconsistent and some drivers are incentivized to drive at hours they may not prefer, all for the lure of extra pay. So what does this actually make drivers – true independent contractors, or something else? Senior RSG contributor John Ince tackles this question below.
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Should Uber & Lyft Drivers Be Employees or Independent Contractors?
A cloud hangs over the entire ridesharing industry. It’s a legal cloud of ambiguity as to what exactly drivers are. Are drivers independent contractors as Uber and Lyft would have the world believe? Or are drivers employees – as two important legal bodies have ruled within the last six months? Further adding to the confusion, Recently, the 9th Circuit of San Francisco ruled that a major lawsuit on this issue could not proceed because driver’s signed away their rights when the signed up to drive for Uber and agreed to arbitration on these issues. So the issue remains in legal limbo and likely will for the foreseeable future.
It’s a legal issue that affects everything in this new space called the gig economy. Labor advocates argue that this gig labor development has set back labor rights fifty years. Those on the other side argue that it’s brought flexibility and income opportunities to countless people that otherwise would be wanting.