- Dec 6, 2018
I don't know what to think of this. On the one hand something definitely needs to be done. On the other hand, when government gets involved things seem to get screwed up. But, for what it's worth they're talking about us in Washington now. A new proposed bill would do a lot of things - most which seem meaningless. But one thing it would do is untether gig workers' benefits like healthcare and sick days from full-time employment. And that seems like a really good change. Why should we only get benefits if we work full time for a single company. Most of us are working just as hard or harder - but for multiple companies. I don't see why we shouldn't get some benefits for all our hard work just because we work for more than one company.
The rise of alternative work arrangements has created a rift in the labor system. Because our system ties many rights and programs to full-time employment, the gig economy–ushered in by Uber, Lyft, Handy, TaskRabbit, Postmates, and a growing list of companies–is creating a second class of workers that don’t have the same benefits.
The gig companies say workers are voluntarily giving up things like paid time off, sick leave, retirement savings, and healthcare, in order to have flexible schedules. The legality of that argument hinges on the argument that gig companies are merely platforms for contractors–not employers, a fight that continues to play out in courts across the country.
But Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) wants to fix the problem fundamentally, and has introduced four bills to create a new system of support for gig workers, by giving tax credits to businesses that train workers, help workers pay for their own training, make it easier for non-full-time employees to get mortgages, and help start a system that untethers benefits like healthcare and sick days from full-time employment.