As you may or may not know, I drive for Uber. I do it to keep the site online (support us on Patreon). I also do it to keep from drowning in debt and medicine in the house. While the former may not be as important, the latter is really the only reason I feel I have to do it. And to be honest, it really sucks when gig workers like myself can’t rely on the companies we work for to help out with some of those costs. Luckily, the Department of Labor looks to be doing something about it.
Dependent Gig Workers should be employees
Last Wednesday, the US Department of Labor (DOL) made a rule public that makes it more difficult for companies to classify workers as independent contractors. Provided that it can make it through court challenges it will face, this will reverse a regulation made by the Trump Administration. Again, if everything works out, it should go into effect on March 11.
This rule has been in the works since 2022. It will take aim at companies like Uber and DoorDash as they rely heavily on gig workers. The rule mandates that workers who are “economically dependent” on companies like these should be looked at as employees.
Misclassifying employees as independent contractors is a serious issue that deprives workers of basic rights and protections. This rule will help protect workers, especially those facing the greatest risk of exploitation, by making sure they are classified properly and that they receive the wages they’ve earned.”
Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su
When the rule takes effect, employers should expect costs to go up. It’s no surprise that the US Chamber of Commerce, a lobbying group for business interests, isn’t taking this laying down.
It is likely to threaten the flexibility of individuals to work when and how they want and could have significant negative impacts on our economy.”
Marc Feedman, VP of the US Chamber of Commerce statement to Reuters
What I would like to know is how would that change? It’s not unfamiliar for capitalists to shift the blame to someone else. It’s also very common of them to say that changes to their bottom line should affect the
people they look down on the consumer or the worker. This is obviously a way to distract from the fact that they won’t be taking any cuts. They have gotten used to taking advantage of the working class and will try to drive a wedge between different sectors of that class while they get fatter and fatter.
It’s really about time for the smoke and mirrors to be put away.