Elizabeth Stork and Deena Merlen weigh in on Gig Economy Worker Classification Debate

RPJ Attorneys Elizabeth Stork and Deena Merlen coauthored an article on employee classifications in the gig economy with Ogletree Deakins Attorneys Aaron Warshaw and  Jessica Schild as part of an ongoing series on labor published by the European American Chamber of Commerce (EACC). The authors tackled rising concerns about worker classification in the United States and looked at the high stakes issue from the perspective of both employers and workers, all of which are heightened in the midst of a pandemic in the U.S., where benefits like sick leave and unemployment insurance are often tied to a person’s employee status. The issue of worker classification—who is categorized as an employee versus who is categorized as an independent contractor—affects companies and their workers across all sectors, from Uber to DoorDash to TaskRabbit. In fact, just last Thursday, a California appeals court upheld an injunction requiring Uber and Lyft to reclassify their California drivers as employees under the state’s recent law, A.B. 5. Meanwhile, these companies and others are sponsoring a referendum on the November ballot to overturn A.B. 5 because they say reclassifying their workers will drive them out of business.

Read the full article on the EACC website for a complete breakdown of the issues and arguments at play for gig economy workers and employers across the United States.