The digital age has brought about a new economy, powered by gig workers, and catalyzed by the rise of tech giants such as UBER, Lyft and Postmates. The gig economy affects us all, whether you are a consumer or gig worker.
What is the Gig Economy?
The gig economy is made up of a large number of workers who contract with companies as independent contractors or freelancers. Unlike employees, gig economy workers are not entitled to benefits like minimum wage, paid sick leave, paid family leave, unemployment insurance, expense reimbursement or workers compensation. As a result, gig work does not provide the same level of stability as traditional employment.
But gig work does provide more flexibility than employment. For example, UBER employees can choose when and where they work, and for how long. For business owners, gig workers can provide the services and labor necessary to a business without the costs that accompany full or part-time employment.
In an effort to gig economy workers, California passed AB5 in 2019, a bill limiting the type of workers that can be classified as independent contractors.