New rights for gig workers..
Will Washington state lead the way for the rest of the Union or will other states be inspired by gig legislations abroad?
Gig work is not a recent phenomenon, but the gig economy which is commonly referenced exploded with smartphones and the rise of apps like Uber, Grubhub and others. Gig work in general refers to nontraditional, short-term and contract work which do not have additional benefits such as healthcare. According to Pew Research Center, 16% of Americans surveyed in August 2021 have earned money from work they obtained on an online gig platform. Of those who are currently (or recently) making money with that type of work, over 30% say it is their primary source of income. And almost 60% state that work from gig platforms is essential or important for meeting their basic needs.
Arguably ridesharing is the most commonly known and used online gig work, and Washington state just passed legislation that guarantees drivers receive paid sick leave, a minimum pay rate and a process to appeal account deactivations. The legislation represents a compromise between the Teamsters Local 117, Uber and Lyft. Though some drivers are not happy about still being labeled ‘independent contractors,’ this bill does provide more economic security to a growing economic group.
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