Joe Bowers and Edward Henderson | California Black Media
On June 13, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) broadened the requirements for independent contractor classification. This ruling could open the door for new workers to organize, form unions and go on strike against their employers. Under existing labor law, only workers with employee status are allowed to unionize.
Gig economy workers such as Uber/Lift and DoorDash drivers as well as app-based healthcare workers would benefit from the ruling. About 16% of Americans have earned income in the gig economy according to a 2021 study.
“Applying this clear standard will ensure that workers who seek to organize or exercise their rights under the National Labor Relations Act are not improperly excluded from its protections,” NLRB Chair Lauren McFerran said in a statement.
Back in March, justices in the California court of appeals ruled that Proposition 22 (a ballot measure from 2020 that allowed Lyft, Uber and other gig economy platforms to classify their workers as independent contractors rather than employees) was constitutional. This proved troublesome for gig economy workers because they would not be eligible for certain benefits traditional employees receive such as health care and other insurance options.