Tag: Freelancing, Self-Employment and Independent Contracting

Uber Fined $649 Million for Saying Drivers Aren’t Employees

New Jersey has demanded that Uber pay $649 million for years of unpaid employment taxes for its drivers, arguing that the ride-hailing company has misclassified the workers as independent contractors and not as employees. The state’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development issued the request this week to Uber and a subsidiary, Raiser, after an […]

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Your Uber Driver Is ‘Retired’? You Shouldn’t Be Surprised

Dave Zarrow, who lives in Reston, Va., figures he spends about 20 hours a week in his 2017 Camry driving for Uber, the ride-hailing company. A former small business owner who segued into teaching, he and his wife have left their full-time jobs and could comfortably retire. Even without the $15 to $20 an hour […]

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In the Van With the ‘Juicers’ Who Round Up and Recharge Lime Scooters

LOS ANGELES — Michelle and Gonzalo Cabezas begin their nightly scavenger hunt at 10. That’s when they start looking for the Lime scooters that people rent and ride by the minute — and leave wherever they please. “People take them to the darnedest spots,” Mrs. Cabezas said from the passenger seat of her husband’s cargo […]

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California Fire Insurance Squeeze Hinders a Key Goal: Preventing Fires

PARADISE, Calif. — D.J. Gomes and his logging crew were working in California’s wine country last fall, helping clear vegetation away from power lines and reduce the ever-growing wildfire risk. While they were gone, fire came for their hometown. The disaster that followed, the Camp Fire, killed 86 people and virtually leveled Paradise, where Mr. […]

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Maybe We’re Not All Going to Be Gig Economy Workers After All

ImageDrivers for Uber and Lyft during a protest in May at LAX Airport.CreditMark Ralston/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images Not too long ago, the “gig economy” looked as if it just might be the future of work in America. The rapid rise of digital platforms that let people earn money by driving passengers, delivering groceries, walking […]

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Why Newspapers Are Fighting California’s Landmark Labor Bill

Good morning. ImageAssemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, with Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, talked to reporters in Sacramento after the Assembly approved her bill to give new wage and benefit protections to the so-called gig economy companies like Uber and Lyft.CreditRich Pedroncelli/Associated Press (Here’s the sign-up, if you don’t already get California Today delivered to your inbox.) The […]

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Take That ‘Gig’ and Shove It

Corporate America has made a lot of money by treating millions of workers as independent contractors, denying them basic legal protections enjoyed by employees. California is now on the verge of taking an important step to curb that sham. The State Assembly passed a bill Wednesday that imposes strict limits on who can be classified […]

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Uber Says It Is Not Subject to California Gig-Worker Law

SAN FRANCISCO — Uber pushed back on Wednesday against a newly passed California bill that effectively requires companies to reclassify their contract workers as employees, in a sign of the emerging resistance that the measure is prompting across the gig economy. Tony West, Uber’s chief legal officer, said in a news conference that the ride-hailing […]

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California Bill Makes App-Based Companies Treat Workers as Employees

SACRAMENTO — California legislators approved a landmark bill on Tuesday that requires companies like Uber and Lyft to treat contract workers as employees, a move that could reshape the gig economy and that adds fuel to a yearslong debate over whether the nature of work has become too insecure. The bill passed in a 29 […]

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California Passes Landmark Bill to Remake Gig Economy

SACRAMENTO — California legislators approved a landmark bill on Tuesday that requires companies like Uber and Lyft to treat contract workers as employees, a move that could reshape the gig economy and that adds fuel to a yearslong debate over whether the nature of work has become too insecure. The bill passed in a 29 […]

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Uber Lays Off Hundreds More Workers as It Struggles to Make Money

SACRAMENTO — Uber laid off 435 workers in its product and engineering teams on Tuesday, the company’s second round of cuts in recent months as it struggles to make money. The cuts, which total about 8 percent of Uber’s global product and engineering group, follow 400 layoffs in July from the marketing team. In a […]

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California Labor Bill, Near Passage, Is Blow to Uber and Lyft

SACRAMENTO — A pack of Teamsters fanned out through California’s Capitol building last week, marching into legislators’ offices and pressing them to pass a bill that would force Uber and Lyft to treat their drivers as employees. The measure, Assembly Bill 5, would entitle gig workers to protections like a minimum wage and unemployment benefits. […]

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Uber Has a Plan to Treat Drivers Better. If Only We Could Trust It.

Should Uber be kneecapped for its long history of flouting the law, or can it possibly be reformed? Or am I a credulous dolt for even suggesting redemption for one of the sorriest companies ever to emerge from Silicon Valley’s tortured hothouse? Those are some of the questions dancing around my head after reading “Super […]

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Cooking Eggs in the Morning and Shucking Oysters at Night, Thanks to an App

As he wrapped up a brunch shift at the Australian cafe Two Hands in the Little Italy section of Manhattan, Christopher Mortenson saw his phone light up. All afternoon, he had been waiting for the notification: ABC Cocina, an upscale Latin American restaurant in the Flatiron district, needed a line cook. He had an hour […]

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One More Way to Die: Delivering Food in Cape Town’s Gig Economy

CAPE TOWN — He had delivered his last food order for the evening and was driving home from Pinelands, a suburb in Cape Town, when an oncoming car swung in front of him, knocking him off his motorbike. Friends and family arrived within 20 minutes, but the motorcyclist, Christian Hakomeyimana, was already dead. A 20-year-old […]

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A.I. Is Learning From Humans. Many Humans.

BHUBANESWAR, India — Namita Pradhan sat at a desk in downtown Bhubaneswar, India, about 40 miles from the Bay of Bengal, staring at a video recorded in a hospital on the other side of the world. The video showed the inside of someone’s colon. Ms. Pradhan was looking for polyps, small growths in the large […]

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My Frantic Life as a Cab-Dodging, Tip-Chasing Food App Deliveryman

I had just started my lunch shift when the phone pinged: Uber Eats, pickup at Cocina del Sur on West 38th Street in Manhattan, five blocks away. Great! I pedaled down West 40th into congealing crosstown traffic. Seconds later my phone ponged — different sound. Postmates, another delivery app: Pick up two orders at Shake […]

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How Drivers Can Beat Uber at Its Own Game

Uber and other ride-sharing companies are locked in all-out battle with their drivers over what might seem like a fairly straightforward question: Are they employees of the companies or not? The drivers notched a victory last week when the California Legislature took another step toward codifying a state court decision that expanded the definition of […]

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Debate Over Uber and Lyft Drivers’ Rights in California Has Split Labor

California’s labor movement recently seemed on the verge of a new era for worker rights. A state court ruled that workers in the gig economy should have many of the protections of employment, like a minimum wage and overtime pay. And the State Assembly passed a bill codifying that ruling and adding more protections. But […]

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Food App Couriers Exploit Migrants Desperate for Work in France

PARIS — Aymen Arfaoui strapped on a plastic Uber Eats bag and checked his cellphone for the fastest bicycle route before pedaling into the stream of cars circling the Place de la République. Time was money, and Mr. Arfaoui, a nervous 18-year-old migrant, needed cash. “I’m doing this because I have to eat,” he said, […]

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