October 01, 2019 Feature

Independent Contractor Laws and the Sharing Economy

Melissa Lewis

The sharing economy, also called “the gig economy,” is changing the nature of employment for millions of Americans. On the one hand, working as an independent contractor in the sharing economy appears to offer great flexibility in terms of hours, frequency, and duration of work. But, on the other hand, earnings are so low and the ability to earn more is so acutely tied to terms and fees established by the hosting company that flexibility is really nothing more than an illusion. Because of the level of control and financial dependency, many workers in the sharing economy are claiming they are misclassified as independent contractors.

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