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On-Demand Workers Need ‘Portable Benefits,’ Tech and Labor Leaders Say

Wall Street Journal (11/10/15) Rachel Emma Silverman

A letter to lawmakers from a coalition of 40 technology, public policy, and labor leaders calls for new benefits and protections for contract workers in the event that they get sick, are injured, or retire. The coalition is asking for such benefits and protections as workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance, and paid time off, with these protections to be portable and prorated by money earned, jobs done, or time worked across different on-demand platforms.

The signers include the chief executives or founders of Lyft, Handy, Etsy, and Instacart; Sara Horowitz, executive director of the Freelancers Union; Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office; and several venture capitalists. The coalition is pressing for future discussion to center on how such benefits should be administered and funded and what type of legislative or regulatory action would be necessary to implement them.