My Thoughts Are Undeveloped

Mostly because employment law and workers’ rights are something I know enough to know I don’t understand well. I do know that my personal experience of Uber has not impressed me (but I also know that my neighborhood & the places I go are places where hailing a cab is a trivial matter 23 hours a day/7 days a week–it’s that 4:30 am to 5:30 am stretch that gets tricky). I also believe that employers manipulate schedules and employee classifications to screw people out of benefits and paychecks that amount to a living wage. I also believe that regulation of things like taxi-cab safety and bonding workers (like maids) who have keys to your house are necessary to protect both the users of the services and the workers.

I think, in the end, I’m in Liss-Riordan’s camp, but I know I don’t have enough information.

[Shannon] Liss-Riordan, 45, has spent her entire legal career going after employers for allegedly short-changing their employees. She specializes in worker misclassification lawsuits—the illegal practice of companies who classify their workers as independent contractors, rather than normal employees, in order to avoid paying them benefits they’re owed under federal law. She’s filed class-action lawsuits on behalf of truck drivers, waiters, delivery men, cable installers, call center workers, and exotic dancers. FedEx and Starbucks are among companies that have paid out millions of dollars for misclassifying workers and misallocating workers’ tips, respectively, as a result of suits she’s filed.

Now, her sights are set on the so-called “on-demand economy”—the constellation of tech start-ups that provide transportation and delivery services at the tap of an app.

Meet the Lawyer Taking on Uber and the Rest of the On-Demand Economy

Although I’m twitching because the article–in quoting U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria’s Order denying the cross-motions for summary judgment–calls it a “Motion“.


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