Presentation Title

Labor Rights in the Global Gig Economy: Investigating Employment by App-Based Technology

Presenter Information

Tina GivensFollow

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Brian Dolber

Start Date

23-11-2019 10:00 AM

End Date

23-11-2019 10:45 AM

Location

3

Session

poster 3

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

behavioral_social_sciences

Abstract

“Gig goliaths” like Uber and Lyft rely on classifying their workers as independent contractors rather than employees to provide services, such as transportation, through app-based technology. This type of rideshare “gig-work” reconstructs traditional employer/employee relationships and policies, necessitating new multinational labor legislation and a clear codification of gig-workers’ status.

This research explored the ways the gig-work business model has affected rideshare drivers and their experiences with economic security, job retention, and personal safety. The aim was to develop a comparative analysis of independent contractor and employee status in the gig economy and how this legislative debate is affecting traditional U.S. labor policies and its impacts on rideshare drivers. Furthermore, examining legal frameworks within app-based employment enabled me to make connections between how these topics intertwined with rights-based legislation and social justice. For this study, I interviewed five hundred current Uber and Lyft rideshare drivers and analyzed their experiences with rideshare app-based employment. Results demonstrated the rideshare gig economy created new opportunities for socioeconomic discrimination and influenced cultural behaviors regarding app-based employment. Findings showed a discrepancy in codification of rideshare drivers as independent contractors. In response to this work, new California legislation was implemented defining rideshare drivers as an employees to potentially correct economic discrepancies and provide workers with employment-based protections not provided by Uber and Lyft. Discussion focuses on the rideshare drivers’ reactions to gaining employee status in California and the corresponding right to unionize. Finally, discussion explores the path to rideshare driver unionization in the gig-economy and the potential emergence of gig-economy labor unions.

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Nov 23rd, 10:00 AM Nov 23rd, 10:45 AM

Labor Rights in the Global Gig Economy: Investigating Employment by App-Based Technology

3

“Gig goliaths” like Uber and Lyft rely on classifying their workers as independent contractors rather than employees to provide services, such as transportation, through app-based technology. This type of rideshare “gig-work” reconstructs traditional employer/employee relationships and policies, necessitating new multinational labor legislation and a clear codification of gig-workers’ status.

This research explored the ways the gig-work business model has affected rideshare drivers and their experiences with economic security, job retention, and personal safety. The aim was to develop a comparative analysis of independent contractor and employee status in the gig economy and how this legislative debate is affecting traditional U.S. labor policies and its impacts on rideshare drivers. Furthermore, examining legal frameworks within app-based employment enabled me to make connections between how these topics intertwined with rights-based legislation and social justice. For this study, I interviewed five hundred current Uber and Lyft rideshare drivers and analyzed their experiences with rideshare app-based employment. Results demonstrated the rideshare gig economy created new opportunities for socioeconomic discrimination and influenced cultural behaviors regarding app-based employment. Findings showed a discrepancy in codification of rideshare drivers as independent contractors. In response to this work, new California legislation was implemented defining rideshare drivers as an employees to potentially correct economic discrepancies and provide workers with employment-based protections not provided by Uber and Lyft. Discussion focuses on the rideshare drivers’ reactions to gaining employee status in California and the corresponding right to unionize. Finally, discussion explores the path to rideshare driver unionization in the gig-economy and the potential emergence of gig-economy labor unions.