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On-Demand Workers: ‘We Are Not Robots’

Wall Street Journal (01/27/15) Lauren Weber; Rachel Emma Silverman

Companies such as Uber Technologies Inc., Handybook Inc., and TaskRabbit that use mobile applications that allow consumers to summon one of their freelance laborers believe they are ushering in a new, flexible future of work in which people perform only the jobs they want, when they want. However, lawsuits, protests, and forums indicate that flexible workers are not as enthusiastic about on-demand work, because they have little control over the terms of their labor.

The lawsuits filed against these companies center on worker classification, with experts noting that app-enabled workers do not fit neatly into the definition of an employee in a traditional work or independent contractor relationship. Experts believe the issues will be decided by the companies and the courts, because laws to change the system are not expected in the near future.