Opinion: Gig workers deserve national protections
San Francisco Chronicle
There is a new sense of urgency driving the effort to provide gig workers access to the same protections and benefits virtually all other U.S. employees enjoy, and California is helping to carry the torch. On Monday, a federal judge in the state ruled that Uber and Lyft must reclassify their drivers as full employees. But with the number of gig workers likely to swell in the coming weeks and months as more and more people turn to gig work amid the pandemic, there is no time to wait for prolonged legal battles to play out elsewhere — and a patchwork of gig-worker laws from state to state will only create more chaos down the road. Congress should immediately step in and create a clear federal standard for gig work that reflects the realities of our ailing economy, in which millions of Americans now and into the future will earn their living through alternative work arrangements that largely did not exist until the past decade — work arrangements that very well might be the new normal post-COVID-19.