Between Uber, Lyft, Postmates and countless other apps, more workers are turning to the on-demand or “gig economy” for temporary or even semi-permanent employment. But, as workers and consumers embrace these technologies, new questions arise in regards to worker safety.
States across the country are grappling with this issue. At the center of the debate: how responsible are these companies for protecting and covering individuals who are injured while working?
The on-demand economy, loosely defined as one where workers and clients are connected through a digital platform, has been growing in recent years, particularly due to the popularity of services like Postmates, or California-based apps like the ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft, or the TaskRabbit app, which connects users with each other to perform simple tasks like house cleaning or dog walking.
But lawmakers and workers across the nation are worried about the effect that the growth of these apps will have on worker safety and protection, according to a recent article by Business Insurance. Washington state Department of Labor & Industries recently ordered Postmates, Inc. to retroactively pay workers’ compensation premiums for over 3,000 of its couriers located in the state.
While these services provide ease-of-access to consumers and customers, on-demand economy workers still face hazards and safety challenges.
Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing services garner a lot of media attention, but workers in for-hire transportation face difficult and hazardous working conditions. Drivers for these services face the same hazards as taxi drivers and chauffeurs, which are killed on the job at a rate of five times that of other workers.
Meanwhile, the companies at the heart of the on-demand economy continue to classify workers as independent contractors, generally preferring to avoid dealing with coverage and other workers’ issues.
Your job is more than just a source of income. It is a major part of your lifestyle. If you have been the victim of wrongful termination, wrongful demotion or any kind of discriminatory business practices, it is time to take action and contact a Ventura employment law attorney that can help. Attorney Matthew A. Kaufman and the team at The Kaufman Law Firm bring experience and a vast arsenal of legal resources to help clients recover the money they deserve.
To learn more, contact our Westlake Village or Los Angeles law office today and schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case.