Publication: The Nation
Published: August 2, 2019

Not everyone who works in California is an employee—legally speaking. Over the years, companies have come up with various alternative titles for the people who work for them: taskers, consultants, independent contractors, 1099-ers, even app users—all labels that let companies circumvent labor laws and union protections, by deeming workers to be “independent” or “self-employed.” Uber, Lyft, TaskRabbit, and a host of other gig economy services rely on these “independent contractors” to fuel their profits. But now, California lawmakers are considering a bill that could upend the gig economy’s signature business model, by reclassifying many independent contractors as employees.