Tuesday, July 14, 2020

What is an Employee?


This is a really interesting development in the debate over who is considered an "employee" and who is considered an expendable, disposable human being:
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced Tuesday that she would file a lawsuit against Uber and Lyft, claiming that the companies have been improperly misclassifying their drivers as contractors rather than employees to save millions of dollars in compensation.
“We’re suing because these companies have built their billion-dollar business that misclassifies their drivers as contractors,” she said during a morning news conference conducted on Zoom.

The complaint, seeking a declaratory judgment, was submitted to Massachusetts Superior Court in Suffolk County.
Healey said that these companies do not pay unemployment or workers' compensation benefits, helping them save millions of dollars annually.
“Taxpayers and other companies are essentially paying when Uber and Lyft misclassifies workers,” she said. “The bottom line is that Uber and Lyft have gotten a free ride for far too long.”
 If you're barely paying people a living wage and sticking taxpayers with the cost of providing health care, unemployment insurance, and workers compensation then you're an evil corporation. Wal-Mart, for example, has always deliberately underpaid their workers and skated by on the idea that SNAP benefits will be there to bridge the gap between extreme poverty and starvation.

A fundamental redesign of the system of work starts with deciding who gets to be a worker and who gets to profit from that work. Any discussion of solving America's problems that does not include a course correction on how we compensate workers is foolish.

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