Gig Work - LAW 731

2 Hours

Gig economy companies like Uber have come under fire for evading regulatory schemes designed to protect workers, but the companies argue that their systems protect workers as much as (or better than) existing regulatory systems and have the added bonus of flexibility. This class explores both sides while focusing on “providers”: the drivers, homeowners, cooks, and other individuals who actually provide the services offered by gig economy companies. We will read a mix of case law, statutory law, legal and social science scholarship, and popular commentary to better understand how the law can adapt and has adapted to this seemingly new form of employment. We may also examine recent developments in more traditional industries like mail delivery and fast-food that are relevant to the issues facing gig work. Possible topics include collective bargaining rights, minimum wage laws, data analytics, and anti-discrimination protections, among others. Previous familiarity with labor and employment law is helpful but not assumed as we’ll briefly review existing laws in the course of considering each topic.