Gig Worker Protections gets a boost in the European proposal

Last year, odd-job companies staged a successful referendum campaign in California to keep drivers classified as independent contractors ...


Last year, odd-job companies staged a successful referendum campaign in California to keep drivers classified as independent contractors while providing them with limited benefits. Although a judge ruled in August that the result violated the California Constitution, his decision is under appeal, and the companies are suing similar legislation in Massachusetts.

The Biden administration has suggested that concert workers be treated like employees, but it has not taken significant steps to change employment laws. In May, the Department of Labor overturned a Trump-era rule that would have made it more difficult to reclassify concert workers across the country as employees.

In Europe, Spain offers an overview of the potential effects of the EU proposal. The country’s so-called horsemen’s law, enacted in August, required food delivery services such as Uber and Deliveroo to reclassify workers as employees, covering around 30,000 workers.

Uber responded by hiring several recruiting agencies to hire a fleet of drivers for Uber Eats, a strategy to comply with the law but avoid the responsibility of directly handling thousands of people. Deliveroo, which is partly owned by Amazon, has abandoned the Spanish market.

Companies prefer policies like those in France, where the government has proposed allowing workers to elect union representation that could negotiate with companies on issues such as wages and benefits. Uber also highlighted Italy, where a major union and food delivery companies have struck a deal that guarantees minimum wages, insurance and safety gear, but doesn’t classify workers as employees.

Kim van Sparrentak, a Green lawmaker in the European Parliament who helped draft a report on platform workers that was released this year, called the committee’s proposal “pretty radical”.

“This can set a new standard for workers’ rights,” said Van Sparrentak.

Adam satariano brought back from London, and Elian Peltier from Brussels. Kate conger contributed reports.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Gig Worker Protections gets a boost in the European proposal
Gig Worker Protections gets a boost in the European proposal
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