Op-ed: Elizabeth Warren and lawyer who sued Uber say gig economy companies deny workers their rights
The coronavirus pandemic has delivered a one-two punch to American workers – a public health emergency paired with a brutal economic crisis. Our country has lost millions of jobs and has already experienced some of the highest unemployment numbers since the Great Depression. Essential workers are risking their safety on the job, often without adequate protections. Senate Republicans have made shielding employers from liability, while dismantling federal labor protections, their top priority for the next relief package. We need to respond to this crisis by putting power in the hands of workers – and a key part of that is ending worker misclassification. Gig economy companies like Uber, Lyft, GrubHub, and Amazon misclassify workers as “independent contractors” rather than employees, enabling them to deny workers collective bargaining rights, health care, a minimum wage, overtime protections and access to unemployment insurance and paid sick leave guaranteed to employees under state and federal law.