California moves to throttle the gig economy

If driving for a gig economy platform appealed to you because you could wrap the timing of the work around the other obligations in your life, the California legislature sends its sincerest condolences [Megan McArdle, Washington Post/Paducah Sun; Michael Munger, The Hill, Steven Greenhut in July; earlier here, etc.] More: Richard Epstein, Hoover.


  • BS. We don’t know what will happen. It may well be that Uber and Lyft will not have changes affecting consumers at all. There are many jobs out there where hourly employees work flexible hours of their choice, It may be rare in the retail and manufacturing sectors, but they are still out there.

    I don’t mean to say that the law is unburdomsome, it certainly is. But all labor laws are a burden on employers. IMHO, these drivers are employees, not independent contractors and the only reason people want to see it differently is so it costs less to employee them.

    Calling and treating employees like independent contractors is much the same as having franchisees, not franchisors (like McDonalds) be responsible for enforcing labor laws. It makes the cost of doing business less.. But, then again, that is also purpose of having the corporate veil. People (sensibly) want to have businesses that shield them from as much liability as possible (not a bad thing, at some level it makes the economy function better).

  • “Calling and treating employees like independent contractors”

    By the line drawn in federal labor law, Uber and Lyft drivers ARE independent contractors NOT employees.