For the past several years (indeed, some in New York may even argue decades), one of the main incentives drawing people into the workforce was the promise of employment benefits. One of the chief among these is workers’ compensation (as employees want the security that comes from knowing should they sustain an injury on the job, they will have the funds needed to help deal with those expenses).
Yet times inevitably change, as does the job market along with it. Recent years have seen the rise of the so-called “gig economy,” where workers have the freedom to work independently for different service providers. This allows them more control over their work environment; however, one of the trade-offs for this added independence are the aforementioned workplace protections.
Ruling deals blow to chief rideshare operators
Rideshare service providers Uber and Lyft rank among the chief players in this new gig economy, classifying those who work for them as “independent contractors.” While some see benefits from this classification, others argue that it allows the companies to avoid the added expense that comes from having to carry workers’ compensation for its frontline employees. However, according to a CBS affiliate network in California, a state judge recently joined the growing number of court officials from around the country that view Uber’s and Lyft’s employment practices as unlawful. This most recent case comes on the heels of local state legislation aimed specifically at providing gig economy employees with basic workplace benefits.
Ensuring the basic protection of workers’ compensation
Indeed there are some circumstances in which employers may not have to carry workers’ compensation coverage for their employees. Yet those scenarios tend to be the exception rather than the norm. Having a consistent source of accurate legal information to rely on may help one know when their employer is potentially denying the benefits due to them.