Under both Democratic and Republican administrations, American workers have suffered a steady erosion of rights guaranteed to “employees” under federal labor laws.
But Secretary of Labor Martin J. Walsh took a step this week to reverse the trend.
Walsh said he wants to make it easier to classify gig workers as employees so they are entitled to a “safety net” of basic protections under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. In other words, he wants to stop employers from classifying workers as independent contractors simply to avoid paying minimum wage, holiday and overtime pay, etc.
Walsh said he will not enforce a rule adopted by the Trump administration that would have made it harder for employees who are wrongly classified as independent contractors to demand their right to be treated like employees.
1 in 6
Gig workers represent a rapidly growing segment of the American workforce due to the explosive rise of app-based services like Uber, Airbnb, Fiverr and Task Rabbit.
The ADP Research Institute estimates that one in six “enterprise” workers are gig workers.Continue reading “A Labor Secretary Who Cares About Labor”