business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Chicago Tribune this morning reports that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has filed a complaint against delivery service Postmates, accusing the company of "labor violations against its drivers" by "requiring that workers enter arbitration agreements as a term of employment, thus waiving their right to pursue class or collective actions ... The complaint also alleges workers were warned not talk to other employees about work terms and conditions, including safety issues, which the NLRB says violates federal law protecting concerted activity."

What makes this complaint interesting - with potentially extended implications for a number of gig economy companies - is that it assumes "the drivers are employees, a classification many gig economy employers have rejected because it would require them to pay for overtime, workers' compensation and other benefits tied to employee status." It makes the assumption without explicitly addressing "whether Postmates drivers are independent contractors versus employees entitled to protections under the National Labor Relations Act, such as the right to unionize and engage in concerted activity."
KC's View:
As someone who more than 20 years ago embraced the idea of becoming an independent contractor, I cannot help but feel that sometimes people who take on such roles and then argue for the protections of more traditional employment are trying to have it both ways. Which isn't entirely fair to the employer.

On the other hand, there are employers that do try to take advantage, looking to treat people as actual employees without the responsibilities that this entails. That's not fair, either.

I just hope that when the courts finally decide these issues, they do so with an accurate perception of what is fair and not fair, and apply some understanding of the real world and the gig economy to their conclusions.