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New Laws For The New ‘Gig Economy’46:56
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Real life in the “Gig Economy,” and how American labor laws might change to make it better.

Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, center, speaks against allowing Uber and other app-based drivers to expand service to upstate New York at the state Capitol in Albany, N.Y. (Hans Pennink/AP)
Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, center, speaks against allowing Uber and other app-based drivers to expand service to upstate New York at the state Capitol in Albany, N.Y. (Hans Pennink/AP)

It’s the age of the “gig economy.” If you’ve got a fulltime job, don’t be so sure it will stay that way. New apps and business models are turning all kinds of people into Uber drivers or the equivalent. Contractors, not employees. Making a living gig by gig. But the law has not kept up. Workers in the gig economy may have freedom, but few have benefits. Sick days. Retirement. A way to bargain. Workers comp. Unemployment. This hour On Point, making the gig economy work for workers. — Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Gillian White, senior associate editor at The Atlantic. (@gillianbwhite)

Lawrence Katz, professor of economics at Harvard University. Research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Author, with Alan Krueger, of "The Rise and Nature of Alternative Work Arrangements in the United States, 1995-2015." (@lkatz42)

Seth Harris, counsel at Dentons' Public Policy and Regulation practice and a distinguished scholar at Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations. Former deputy U.S. Labor Secretary and former acting U.S. Labor Secretary. (@MrSethHarris)

From Tom’s Reading List

The Atlantic: When Will Labor Laws Catch Up With the Gig Economy? -- "If asked to define the variously named sharing/gig/on-demand economy, anyone would struggle. Despite the fact that Uber and Airbnb have become household names, most companies that are considered part of this new tech-driven, non-ownership economy do vastly different things. And so do their workers. This nebulousness of these companies makes them hard not only to define, but also to regulate."

Harvard University: The Rise and Nature of Alternative Work Arrangements in the United States, 1995-2015 -- "A striking implication of these estimates is that all of the net employment growth in the
U.S. economy from 2005 to 2015 appears to have occurred in alternative work arrangements."

Buzzfeed News: Uber Data And Leaked Docs Provide A Look At How Much Uber Drivers Make -- "Uber says it doesn’t know how much drivers on its platform actually earn per hour, after expenses. Still, Uber’s internal pricing models, found in the spreadsheets provided to BuzzFeed News, do generate rough estimates of driver net pay. But in internal communications seen by BuzzFeed News, Uber explicitly discourages employees from comparing these estimates to the minimum wage."

This program aired on June 23, 2016.

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