It is expected that many ride sharing companies will start treating their contracted workers like employees in the near future. A number of businesses that have started up recently depend on independent contractors. The best known examples are probably Lyft and Uber, which are riding sharing companies that allow individuals who work for them to determine their own hours.
Along with ride sharing services, many individuals have begun working for food delivery services, but as with ride sharing, they are not considered employees of the businesses they deliver for. As a result of not actually being employees, companies are able to save large amounts of money on insurance and Social Security. Of course, this also means that employees aren’t receiving these benefits.
There are already two legal cases in California where individuals working for both Lyft and Uber are asking to be treated as employees, and they are expected to result in jury trials. One of these cases has already been awarded class action status. Cities and states are also already intervening on behalf of workers. For example, Seattle passed a law that allows for-hire drivers to organize.
One of the issues that contracted employees face is that they may not be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if they are injured while performing their job. Workers’ compensation benefits can cover medical costs as well as lost wages, but people must meet certain requirements to be able to claim it. Depending on someone’s work situation, they may be able to be considered an employee even if they are not directly employed by an organization. A lawyer could explain how this works as well as assisting someone in applying for benefits.