In the highly competitive gig-economy, companies are constantly trying to leverage whatever they can to gain a competitive advantage over competitors. One method of doing so is saving on employment costs by classifying workers as independent contractors. There are two ways to accomplish this: (1) structure the business as an internet-based marketplace or platform; or (2) structure the relationship between the business and the worker in a way that ensures the worker remains classified as an independent contractor under either the common law control test or the economic realities test. Both Uber and Lyft have faced accusations of intentionally misclassifying their workers to utilize this competitive advantage. Taking an in-depth look at Uber’s and Lyft’s business models reveals that both companies have failed to accomplish either of the two methods above, indicating their workers may in fact be misclassified. TaskRabbit’s model, on the other hand, has key distinguishing characteristics that make it more of a marketplace than Uber or Lyft while also allowing for proper classification of its workers as independent contractors under both the common law control and the economic realities tests. Therefore, TaskRabbit’s model allows the company to legally enjoy the benefits of classifying its workers as independent contractors, providing it a competitive edge in the gig-economy.
Joseph W. McHugh,
Looking Through the (Mis)Classifieds: Why TaskRabbit is Better Suited than Uber and Lyft to Succeed Against a Worker Misclassification Claim,
66 Clev. St. L. Rev.
available at https://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/clevstlrev/vol66/iss3/8