The Rise of the “Gig” Economy: Good for Workers and Consumers
While many Americans prefer jobs with regular hours, workers in today’s “gig” economy value flexibility and control of their own schedules. The gig economy now faces a significant legal threat. Numerous lawsuits seek to reclassify people working individual gigs as “employees” instead of “independent contractors.” If the lawsuits succeed, gig firms will become liable for overtime, minimum wages, and expenses, and be forced to take significant control of gig workers’ schedules—undermining the value of the gig economy to the workers currently in it. Congress should clarify “independent contractor” status to reduce this threat and equalize the tax treatment of benefits between independent contractors and employees.