This year, the Institute debuted Exploitation In The Gig Economy
. This project aims to expose the harms of misclassification, the dismantling of gig workers' economic safety net, and the ways in which the gig economy perpetuates racial inequality, with an eye towards legal and policy solutions to achieve protection for all workers. The Institute has launched the project's first two research pieces: “The Gig Economy By The Numbers” and “Spotlight On California: AB 5, Proposition 22, And The Fight For Gig Workers’ Rights.” Both pieces are available on The Institute’s website
The Gig Economy By The Numbers
This presentation is a primer on why The Institute has taken on the gig economy as our newest research focus, and discusses:
- The harms of misclassification, including denial of workers’ rights and financial instability;
- Alarming trends in the gig economy, including carve-outs and “temp outs”;
- How workers of color are disproportionately harmed by these trends; and
- How The Institute will tackle the issue of race and racism in the gig economy.
Spotlight On California: AB 5, Proposition 22, And The Fight For Gig Workers’ Rights
The fight for gig workers’ rights has come to a head in California, where gig companies are attempting to circumvent AB 5, California’s law to protect gig workers from misclassification. Uber, Lyft and other online gig companies spent millions of dollars on Proposition 22, a California ballot measure to exempt these companies from AB 5 and make it even more difficult for their workers to be classified as employees. The bulk of this money has funded an aggressive misinformation campaign around AB 5 and misclassification. This article analyzes the harms of misclassifying gig workers, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic; California’s attempt to remedy these harms through AB 5; and Uber and Lyft’s misinformation campaign.
The Institute appreciates all of your support and looks forward to bringing you more content on the gig economy in 2021!