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  #51  
Old 03-12-2020, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
I don't consider "gig economy workers" to be employees, therefore I'm with UltraVires in saying it would be unfair to hold employers accountable.
...you've both just completely ignored my point and supported an argument that UltraVires never actually made. It doesn't matter if you consider gig economy workers "employees" or not. Gig economy workers typically don't make the living wage. Gig economy workers typically don't even make the minimum wage. Lets for the sake of debate concede that "the employers shouldn't be accountable." How are you expecting gig economy workers to put aside money for sick time when most of them are running a deficit?

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Let's say I want to hire a cleaning service. I give them square footage, location, etc. They give me a quote. I take the cheapest reasonable quote. It's not my fault if these contractors are selling themselves short. If they take home less than the minimum wage, guess what? I'm not the employer, and I'm not on the hook.
Bad analogy. Because it ignores what the gig economy actually is. Gig economy workers can't negotiate. They don't give you a quote. They aren't "selling themselves short" because they can't really sell themselves. The rates are set by the company. Their revenue is set by the company. They can't market themselves independently: they operate at the beck and the call of the app. Gig economy workers are virtually indistinguishable from employees. Its just a matter of definition.
  #52  
Old 03-12-2020, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
I do both of these things. However, that is not my responsibility by any definition of the term. I owe them a market wage for services rendered. I am not their father or their caretaker.

Who pays when you are sick?
My employees are there when I am sick, keeping the place going and making me money
  #53  
Old 03-12-2020, 04:32 PM
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Of course it's possible.
...I said almost impossible. Which means that of course its possible in certain circumstances. I'm glad you agree with me.

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The New Zealand number is arbitrary and quite frankly wrong if it's static for all households and locations.
Of course its arbitrary. And it isn't "wrong." You aren't the authority on how the words are defined.

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That living wage isn't enough for many people but is more than enough for others. I saved far more than two weeks of expenses while making much less. Have three kids? It's not enough. And if I need more, it's my responsibility to earn more.
I've used the living wage as a useful benchmark for comparison, that's all. I'm sure you've manged to "pull yourself up by your bootstraps." I'm glad you managed to find more than two weeks of expenses while making much less. But this thread isn't about you.
  #54  
Old 03-12-2020, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
I don't consider "gig economy workers" to be employees, therefore I'm with UltraVires in saying it would be unfair to hold employers accountable. Contrast with the part-time employees I described before, where it's totally on me if they aren't making a minimum wage.

Let's say I want to hire a cleaning service. I give them square footage, location, etc. They give me a quote. I take the cheapest reasonable quote. It's not my fault if these contractors are selling themselves short. If they take home less than the minimum wage, guess what? I'm not the employer, and I'm not on the hook.

I do have a moral obligation to pay a minimum, but not every business will agree with me on that. And there's nothing I can do if it never comes to my attention that a contractor can't make ends meet.

Sure, you could try and implement a "minimum wage" for gig workers. But good luck designing a law that applies to the people who contract for their services. There are just too many different kinds of jobs to legislate for. What are you going to do, try and write a law based on the assumption that it takes someone one hour to clean five hundred square feet? Different people take different amounts of time to do their jobs. There's a quality difference, too. What about the cost of supplies? You know, some things are harder to clean than others. You can't make hard and fast rules with all of these variables.

My point is that if the worker is self-employed, as is the case with gig workers (unless I'm wrong here), there's no use in trying to protect them with a minimum wage law.

~Max
This. My job employs a handful of contractors. Most, if not all of them, have their own day time jobs, after which they put in a few hours of work for my company. I'm not privy to what they make, and it really isn't my business, but do these people need two living wages? No, and I doubt most of them would really argue otherwise.
  #55  
Old 03-12-2020, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Banquet Bear View Post
...you've both just completely ignored my point and supported an argument that UltraVires never actually made. It doesn't matter if you consider gig economy workers "employees" or not. Gig economy workers typically don't make the living wage. Gig economy workers typically don't even make the minimum wage. Lets for the sake of debate concede that "the employers shouldn't be accountable." How are you expecting gig economy workers to put aside money for sick time when most of them are running a deficit?
I concurred with UltraVires posts #13 and #17. The argument I used to get there is different, though.

I'm just trying to imagine the scenario where I can't work something out. The only thing I can think of is, the guy is in such deep shit that I couldn't help him if I wanted to, like he's going to have to declare bankruptcy no matter whether I pay him or not, or maybe he's a lazy asshole. Otherwise if times are tough, unless I'm also running deep red, we could work something out.
SPOILER:
Gig worker: "Max, I'm sick with [insert infectious disease]."
Me: "Ah, that sucks. Rest up and let me know as soon as you're doing better."
Gig worker: "Actually, I really need to work. I can't afford to take time off."
Me: "I'm sorry guy, but you know I can't let you come in like that. (If it's okay with bossman) I might be able to work out an interest-free advance of $X, and we can take it out of your next couple jobs with us."
Gig worker: "I can't accept Max, with finances how they are I can't afford to repay the loan."
Me: "I have some odd jobs, too. When you're feeling better you can come in and help me sort our record rooms. We could probably knock it out in six or seven hours. The parking lot is also due for ant-killer, and you could power-wash the building."
Gig worker: "I'm really sorry, but I have like ten other jobs and a ton of existing commitments, I don't think I'll be able to set aside enough much time."
Me: "We can try and break it up over a few days. It doesn't have to be all at once."
Gig worker: "No, I don't think even that would work out. My schedule is really tight."
Me: "That's too bad, don't you have any time off? We could work something out."
Gig worker: "Unfortunately, not except late late at night, after about 11PM."
Me: "Yeah, I can't do that."
Gig worker: "Would you maybe be able to pay for sick time?"
Me: "No can do. I don't even offer sick pay for our part-time employees, and... technically you aren't an employee."
Gig worker: "Come on, man! It's not my fault I caught [insert infectious disease]!"
Me: "I'm sorry but I can't pay you if you aren't working. I know it sucks-"
Gig worker: "It more than sucks, I can't afford to miss work. I'm going to lose my house, because you have no sympathy for the sick!"
Me: "Of course we care about the sick, this is a doctor's office, you know! But we don't treat [insert infectious disease], and I can't risk exposing our patients to that."
Gig worker: "Do you expect me to have $X lying around just in case I get sick?"
Me: "No, I expect you to die, Mr. Bond. Seriously, your personal finances are none of my business.
Look, I'm sorry I can't help you. I tried. Call me back when you're feeling better, before you say something that can't be taken back."
[click]

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Originally Posted by Banquet Bear View Post
Bad analogy. Because it ignores what the gig economy actually is. Gig economy workers can't negotiate. They don't give you a quote. They aren't "selling themselves short" because they can't really sell themselves. The rates are set by the company. Their revenue is set by the company. They can't market themselves independently: they operate at the beck and the call of the app. Gig economy workers are virtually indistinguishable from employees. Its just a matter of definition.
Oh, so you're only talking about those on-demand apps, not classifieds or eg: Angie's List. Good that you pointed this out to me, because I had always considered the latter to be part of the "gig economy".

Look, even with the apps like Uber, nobody is forcing you to take the sucky routes. If you can't make it doing that sort of work, all I can say is that maybe you shouldn't be doing that sort of work. If the gig worker isn't able to negotiate, if it's some sort of "here's the job, take it or leave it" sort of thing, that means there's a middleman between the person paying and the person providing the service. I'm willing to regulate the middleman - you have to have an estimated number of hours and material costs (route time + gasoline + etc), and you are on the hook for paying at least the minimum wage plus cost. Or, if someone spends more than X hours doing jobs through you, that makes them an employee and you have to provide health insurance.

~Max
  #56  
Old 03-12-2020, 05:45 PM
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Minor edit to my previous post: two Canadian provinces have paid sick leave. Ontario used to have it, for a year or two, but there was an election, and the new government dropped the idea. (They used to give one paid sick day per year, and three sick days total.)
  #57  
Old 03-12-2020, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
I concurred with UltraVires posts #13 and #17. The argument I used to get there is different, though.

I'm just trying to imagine the scenario where I can't work something out. The only thing I can think of is, the guy is in such deep shit that I couldn't help him if I wanted to, like he's going to have to declare bankruptcy no matter whether I pay him or not, or maybe he's a lazy asshole. Otherwise if times are tough, unless I'm also running deep red, we could work something out.
SPOILER:
Gig worker: "Max, I'm sick with [insert infectious disease]."
Me: "Ah, that sucks. Rest up and let me know as soon as you're doing better."
Gig worker: "Actually, I really need to work. I can't afford to take time off."
Me: "I'm sorry guy, but you know I can't let you come in like that. (If it's okay with bossman) I might be able to work out an interest-free advance of $X, and we can take it out of your next couple jobs with us."
Gig worker: "I can't accept Max, with finances how they are I can't afford to repay the loan."
Me: "I have some odd jobs, too. When you're feeling better you can come in and help me sort our record rooms. We could probably knock it out in six or seven hours. The parking lot is also due for ant-killer, and you could power-wash the building."
Gig worker: "I'm really sorry, but I have like ten other jobs and a ton of existing commitments, I don't think I'll be able to set aside enough much time."
Me: "We can try and break it up over a few days. It doesn't have to be all at once."
Gig worker: "No, I don't think even that would work out. My schedule is really tight."
Me: "That's too bad, don't you have any time off? We could work something out."
Gig worker: "Unfortunately, not except late late at night, after about 11PM."
Me: "Yeah, I can't do that."
Gig worker: "Would you maybe be able to pay for sick time?"
Me: "No can do. I don't even offer sick pay for our part-time employees, and... technically you aren't an employee."
Gig worker: "Come on, man! It's not my fault I caught [insert infectious disease]!"
Me: "I'm sorry but I can't pay you if you aren't working. I know it sucks-"
Gig worker: "It more than sucks, I can't afford to miss work. I'm going to lose my house, because you have no sympathy for the sick!"
Me: "Of course we care about the sick, this is a doctor's office, you know! But we don't treat [insert infectious disease], and I can't risk exposing our patients to that."
Gig worker: "Do you expect me to have $X lying around just in case I get sick?"
Me: "No, I expect you to die, Mr. Bond. Seriously, your personal finances are none of my business.
Look, I'm sorry I can't help you. I tried. Call me back when you're feeling better, before you say something that can't be taken back."
[click]
...holy gigantic strawman.

Do you feel better after having written that screed? Because it doesn't address anything that I said.

Quote:
Oh, so you're only talking about those on-demand apps, not classifieds or eg: Angie's List. Good that you pointed this out to me, because I had always considered the latter to be part of the "gig economy".
One would expect that I wouldn't have to have pointed this out to you.

Quote:
Look, even with the apps like Uber, nobody is forcing you to take the sucky routes. If you can't make it doing that sort of work, all I can say is that maybe you shouldn't be doing that sort of work.
People are doing that sort of work because they aren't able to get other sorts of work. The barriers to entry into the gig economy are substantially lower than getting a job.

Quote:
If the gig worker isn't able to negotiate, if it's some sort of "here's the job, take it or leave it" sort of thing, that means there's a middleman between the person paying and the person providing the service. I'm willing to regulate the middleman - you have to have an estimated number of hours and material costs (route time + gasoline + etc), and you are on the hook for paying at least the minimum wage plus cost.
Except that isn't how it works. What you are "willing to do" and the reality are two different things. Uber isn't on the hook for paying at least the minimum wage plus costs. Some areas are only just now forcing the Ubers of this world to treat their workers as employees. But this is rare, and they are fighting this tooth and nail.

Quote:
Or, if someone spends more than X hours doing jobs through you, that makes them an employee and you have to provide health insurance.
Perhaps you should pick up the phone and explain this to the "tech" companies that control the gig economy. Because this is exactly the opposite of what they are doing.
  #58  
Old 03-12-2020, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Banquet Bear View Post
Bad analogy. Because it ignores what the gig economy actually is. Gig economy workers can't negotiate. They don't give you a quote. They aren't "selling themselves short" because they can't really sell themselves. The rates are set by the company. Their revenue is set by the company. They can't market themselves independently: they operate at the beck and the call of the app. Gig economy workers are virtually indistinguishable from employees. Its just a matter of definition.
In most places I've been actual, hail-them-on-the-street ( and sometimes call them on the phone) taxis don't set their own rates - the rates are set by a government entity. And they are the same whether it's one driver driving the single cab that he owns ( clearly self-employed), another driver leasing that cab for the opposite shift ( self-employed in my view), people leasing cabs from a company that owns 100 ( but doesn't have any relationship with the cab driver other than collecting the lease fee and the lease may be per shift rather than longer term so self-employed ) or people who are actually employed by cab companies and are assigned to work specific days and shifts.

Who sets the fee is not the only factor that determines whether a person is an employee or not - there are other factors involved. One of them is that employers typically set the time and place of work , and another is that employers typically prohibit working for a competitor and virtually always prohibit working for any other company during the same hours. But people frequently drive for Uber/Lyft/Doordash/Grubhub etc at the same time.( I read that something like 70% drive for both Uber and Lyft - there's even an app to make it easier to handle requests from Uber Lyft and Postmates at the same time). I find it difficult to say you're Lyft employee from 6pm- midnight Tuesday when you are also accepting Uber rides for the same time period.

Last edited by doreen; 03-12-2020 at 06:01 PM.
  #59  
Old 03-12-2020, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by doreen View Post
In most places I've been actual, hail-them-on-the-street ( and sometimes call them on the phone) taxis don't set their own rates - the rates are set by a government entity. And they are the same whether it's one driver driving the single cab that he owns ( clearly self-employed), another driver leasing that cab for the opposite shift ( self-employed in my view), people leasing cabs from a company that owns 100 ( but doesn't have any relationship with the cab driver other than collecting the lease fee and the lease may be per shift rather than longer term so self-employed ) or people who are actually employed by cab companies and are assigned to work specific days and shifts.
...this doesn't change anything I said. Gig economy workers can't negotiate, they can't give you a quote, they can't effectively market themselves. My business uses independent contractors. But that doesn't automatically make me part of the gig economy. The term gig economy was coined in 2009 because of the growth of "tech companies" like Uber and Lyft. It was never intended as a catch all for every example of independent contractors.

Quote:
Who sets the fee is not the only factor that determines whether a person is an employee or not - there are other factors involved. One of them is that employers typically set the time and place of work , and another is that employers typically prohibit working for a competitor and virtually always prohibit working for any other company during the same hours. But people frequently drive for Uber/Lyft/Doordash/Grubhub etc at the same time.( I read that something like 70% drive for both Uber and Lyft - there's even an app to make it easier to handle requests from Uber Lyft and Postmates at the same time). I find it difficult to say you're Lyft employee from 6pm- midnight Tuesday when you are also accepting Uber rides for the same time period.
What determines whether a person is an employee or not is entirely down to how they are defined by law. California has passed laws that make gig economy workers employees. Uber, Lyft, etc are refusing to comply with those laws.
  #60  
Old 03-12-2020, 06:34 PM
Max S. is offline
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Originally Posted by Banquet Bear View Post
...holy gigantic strawman.

Do you feel better after having written that screed? Because it doesn't address anything that I said.
I do, thank you.
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Originally Posted by Banquet Bear View Post
One would expect that I wouldn't have to have pointed this out to you.
I have a reputation for defining words differently than Kiwis. (Oh God, I hope that isn't offensive)
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Originally Posted by Banquet Bear View Post
People are doing that sort of work because they aren't able to get other sorts of work. The barriers to entry into the gig economy are substantially lower than getting a job.
So? That's why I pay taxes for unemployment services, to help people get jobs. Why would you throw that out for peanuts at Uber? And if there aren't enough jobs in an area, that means it's time to move. And if there are jobs, but you can't live on them with a minimal lifestyle (eg: due to medical expenses or kids, etc.) then we have a problem that could be fixed with eg: minimum wage or social services, or even charity. But what if those jobs would disappear due to the costs of such services? It is possible that there are simply too many people, in which case there is no solution, and life just sucks. But I don't think we're anywhere near that point.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Banquet Bear View Post
Except that isn't how it works. What you are "willing to do" and the reality are two different things. Uber isn't on the hook for paying at least the minimum wage plus costs. Some areas are only just now forcing the Ubers of this world to treat their workers as employees. But this is rare, and they are fighting this tooth and nail.

[...]

Perhaps you should pick up the phone and explain this to the "tech" companies that control the gig economy. Because this is exactly the opposite of what they are doing.
I don't approach Great Debate threads as, "let's all sit together and complain about how things are today". My post about job info regulations and an hours-based threshold for employer-employee relationships is a proposal, for debate.

~Max
  #61  
Old 03-12-2020, 06:45 PM
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What determines whether a person is an employee or not is entirely down to how they are defined by law.
Respectfully, I will disagree on principle. Whether a person is or is not an employee is determined by law exclusively. Assuming the law is already in effect and no court has issued an injunction against it, and assuming Uber and Postmate are noncompliant, I would think any workers who suffer harm due to said noncompliance can petition the court for immediate relief.

~Max
  #62  
Old 03-12-2020, 06:57 PM
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So? That's why I pay taxes for unemployment services, to help people get jobs.
...you obviously aren't paying enough taxes then because it clearly isn't working.

Or perhaps these "unemployment services" are able to help a great many people, but they can't help every single person. Perhaps you could be a bit more specific and tell us exactly what unemployment services you are funding and what the success rates are for these services?

Quote:
Why would you throw that out for peanuts at Uber?
Because these "unemployment services" haven't succeeded in getting them jobs? Because having any sort of income is better than having no income?

Quote:
And if there aren't enough jobs in an area, that means it's time to move.
Moving costs money. How do you earn enough money to move if you are barely surviving and having to rely on the gig economy?

Quote:
And if there are jobs, but you can't live on them with a minimal lifestyle (eg: due to medical expenses or kids, etc.) then we have a problem that could be fixed with eg: minimum wage or social services, or even charity.
Yes you have a problem. A great big huge fucking problem. What is is it, do you think we are talking about in this thread? Of course minimum wage would help fix things. So would paid sick leave.

Quote:
But what if those jobs would disappear due to the costs of such services? It is possible that there are simply too many people, in which case there is no solution, and life just sucks. But I don't think we're anywhere near that point.
The likes of Uber and Lyft have basically hedged their futures on a gamble: that they will be able to leverage their huge customer base (gained by offering services below the actual cost) eventually into a profitable service. I don't think that that gamble will ever actually pay off. I think those "jobs" are going to disappear regardless: not because of the "costs of such services": but because the business model they have adopted is fundamentally unprofitable.

Quote:
I don't approach Great Debate threads as, "let's all sit together and complain about how things are today". My post about job info regulations and an hours-based threshold for employer-employee relationships is a proposal, for debate.
If you want to debate it helps to understand what it is we are talking about. So far in the last couple of days we've discovered you don't understand what "single-payer" means or what "universal healthcare" is. You didn't understand the difference between health insurance and healthcare, and now, here I am, in a thread all about the gig economy, patiently explaining to you what the gig economy actually is.

Quote:
Respectfully, I will disagree on principle. Whether a person is or is not an employee is determined by law exclusively. Assuming the law is already in effect and no court has issued an injunction against it, and assuming Uber and Postmate are noncompliant, I would think any workers who suffer harm due to said noncompliance can petition the court for immediate relief.
Respectfully: you have just agreed with me.
  #63  
Old 03-12-2020, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
Respectfully, I will disagree on principle. Whether a person is or is not an employee is determined by law exclusively. Assuming the law is already in effect and no court has issued an injunction against it, and assuming Uber and Postmate are noncompliant, I would think any workers who suffer harm due to said noncompliance can petition the court for immediate relief.

~Max
Uber & Postmate's request for a preliminary injunction was denied on Feb 10. https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/...703.52.0_1.pdf

~Max
  #64  
Old 03-12-2020, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
Correct. The thread is about the intersection of three things. Taking an extreme position on one of those things in order to avoid addressing its intersection with the other two is leading this thread well away from the OP, which is really frustrating. By all means start your own thread about how sick leave is a tool of The Man or whatever, but I humbly ask you to keep that nonsense out of this thread.
I tried to respect your wishes, but the debate is spreading...well...like a virus

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Originally Posted by Johanna View Post
No, because their right-wing ideology does not allow them to acknowledge that the concept of living wage even exists.
It is really pretty simple. You have UltraVires and Johanna. We have no connection to each other and neither has a responsibility to provide anything for the other.

But one day you decide that you like my janitorial skills. You think I will keep your building pretty clean.

Why, simply because of that, have you taken on a caretaker role for me? It's insulting really. I'm still an individual the same as you. You owe me the negotiated rate for my janitorial services and nothing more. After that we each go home and do our own thing.

My personal needs are not your concern. In both directions. You wouldn't say that I am doing well (say my wife has a good job and I'm doing this to get out of the house) so you should cut my pay, would you?

And morality? Why would you be anymore morally obliged to provide for my partial poverty than any other citizen? If anything, you are doing more than anyone else in the world because you are providing at least part of what I need moneywise.

Where did this idea start that once you employ someone, whether on the books or as contract work, that the worker somehow becomes your charge or your ward? That's nonsense.

And I'm not even saying it is socialism or any other such thing. Let's have a social safety net, but this idea of a mandatory living wage puts the burden on one single individual to alleviate a person's poverty instead of placing it on society as a whole. What did that person do to conscript himself?

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Originally Posted by Procrustus View Post
My employees are there when I am sick, keeping the place going and making me money
And you pay them for being there when you are sick. Do they or anyone else pay you when you are out sick?
  #65  
Old 03-12-2020, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
Respectfully, I will disagree on principle. Whether a person is or is not an employee is determined by law exclusively. Assuming the law is already in effect and no court has issued an injunction against it, and assuming Uber and Postmate are noncompliant, I would think any workers who suffer harm due to said noncompliance can petition the court for immediate relief.

~Max
Let's go to the quarry and throw stuff down there! That's hilarious, dude! Did you write that yourself or is it from some absurdist TV show and which one?
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Respectfully: you have just agreed with me.
Aye; he totally did.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 03-12-2020 at 07:04 PM.
  #66  
Old 03-12-2020, 07:07 PM
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...this doesn't change anything I said. Gig economy workers can't negotiate, they can't give you a quote, they can't effectively market themselves. My business uses independent contractors. But that doesn't automatically make me part of the gig economy. The term gig economy was coined in 2009 because of the growth of "tech companies" like Uber and Lyft. It was never intended as a catch all for every example of independent contractors.
It does actually have to do with what you said- a taxi driver can't negotiate or give you a quote, whether he owns his own cab or leases one or is employed by a company. He's got to charge by the meter or by zone, whatever the government uses to set prices. I've never seen a hail-on-the-street cab driver market himself and can't imagine how they could. How exactly are they different from an Uber/Lyft driver? And if they aren't different , who is the owner-operator an employee of? Or is the ability to set prices and negotiate not as important as you originally seemed to think?


Quote:
What determines whether a person is an employee or not is entirely down to how they are defined by law. California has passed laws that make gig economy workers employees. Uber, Lyft, etc are refusing to comply with those laws.
When you posted this
Quote:
Bad analogy. Because it ignores what the gig economy actually is. Gig economy workers can't negotiate. They don't give you a quote. They aren't "selling themselves short" because they can't really sell themselves. The rates are set by the company. Their revenue is set by the company. They can't market themselves independently: they operate at the beck and the call of the app. Gig economy workers are virtually indistinguishable from employees. Its just a matter of definition.
You didn't restrict it to California and perhaps a couple of other states with similar laws , so I assumed you were speaking more broadly. Yes, if California law defines them as employees they are employees and Uber, Lyft etc should comply with the law. But there are 40 something other states in the US that use the Federal Department of Labor's six factor test - and there is an opinion letter where the DOL decided that service providers working for a virtual marketplace company were independent contractors.

Last edited by doreen; 03-12-2020 at 07:09 PM.
  #67  
Old 03-12-2020, 07:13 PM
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DoorDash just sent me a letter:

-They are instituting no contact methods for food delivery
-They are communicating with participating restaurants on safety
-They are establishing a means for workers to receive 2 weeks of sick leave if needed, due to quarantine or family illness

I was impressed. I hope it translates to action.
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Old 03-12-2020, 07:13 PM
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Isn't the potential situation with coronavirus slightly different to normal sick leave? With shutdowns like they've had in China and Italy, it's not employees staying home because they're sick, it's practically everyone staying home in order to prevent the spread of the disease. They're not actually sick.

And it's the government - federal, state or local - ordering them to stay home and not work. It's not their choice.

So it would make sense for there to be some one-time only actions taken to help those employees, and it's the government's responsibility to take those actions. Italy, for example, has suspended mortgage payments (and some reports also say utility bills), which then leads to rent payments being suspended (the govt will end up bailing the banks out for the lost payments, like the UK did for other reasons a few years ago). The workers still aren't earning, but at least they're also not getting into debt and risking losing their homes, so when the crisis is over they can get back on their feet again.

TBH, that makes more sense than trying to get all employers including small companies to provide extra sick pay for people who aren't actually sick. That would require changing far more laws and requiring admin from small companies who might find it difficult to do extra admin when their workers are on lockdown.

As to why those non-working people should get paid, or rather, not have to pay for a short period of time - if too many gig workers end up in huge debt, bankrupt or homeless, then they won't have money to spend to stimulate the economy.
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Old 03-12-2020, 07:25 PM
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Isn't the potential situation with coronavirus slightly different to normal sick leave? With shutdowns like they've had in China and Italy, it's not employees staying home because they're sick, it's practically everyone staying home in order to prevent the spread of the disease. They're not actually sick.
Well, yes that could happen but it's a little beyond the scope of this thread. If entire cities or states have to shut down, I doubt even a serious right winger would seriously oppose direct government assistance.

But I actually think the situation we're already in calls for government assistance. This is one of those times you just don't rely on people acting the right way. Anyone who is considered a "self isolation" candidate by the health authorities should get some half decent government check to cover two week's expenses, end of story.

And btw OP, Uber is losing shtloads of money every year. They are not getting rich off of shorting their workers. Just saying.
  #70  
Old 03-12-2020, 07:28 PM
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...you obviously aren't paying enough taxes then because it clearly isn't working.
Maybe I'm not, I haven't ever looked at how effective the unemployment fund is. But if it's not working, we should fix that.
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Originally Posted by Banquet Bear View Post
Because these "unemployment services" haven't succeeded in getting them jobs? Because having any sort of income is better than having no income?
I believe... unemployment benefits are capped at about $275/wk for up to a max of 20 weeks. You have to check in with their office every now and again and prove you are trying to get a job.

I could see a point of failure if you have a family or medical condition. In theory there are other supposed to be other services designed to help with that stuff.
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Moving costs money. How do you earn enough money to move if you are barely surviving and having to rely on the gig economy?
We are supposed to have housing programs for such situations. Unfortunately, they are underfunded.
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Yes you have a problem. A great big huge fucking problem. What is is it, do you think we are talking about in this thread? Of course minimum wage would help fix things. So would paid sick leave.
I was talking about traditional jobs with employers, not independent contractor work. You can't offer paid sick leave to a contractor, or at least I can't think of a way to make that work.

"Hi, I'm standing at the corner of Main and 5th, and I'm wasted. Can you take me home?"
"Sorry, I'm sick right now and can't drive you."
"Then why did you take the offer? Dammit, it already charged me!"
"That's my sick pay, thank you much."
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If you want to debate it helps to understand what it is we are talking about. So far in the last couple of days we've discovered you don't understand what "single-payer" means or what "universal healthcare" is. You didn't understand the difference between health insurance and healthcare, and now, here I am, in a thread all about the gig economy, patiently explaining to you what the gig economy actually is.
I don't think there's anything I can do to avoid this happening in the future. It's too late for me to re-learn the entire English language, and I am just finding out now that I have all the wrong definitions.
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Respectfully: you have just agreed with me.


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Old 03-12-2020, 07:34 PM
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Nothing a Banquet Bear vs Max S. duel to make me flee a thread. Forget I was here.
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Old 03-12-2020, 08:15 PM
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It does actually have to do with what you said- a taxi driver can't negotiate or give you a quote, whether he owns his own cab or leases one or is employed by a company. I've never seen a hail-on-the-street cab driver market himself and can't imagine how they could. How exactly are they different from an Uber/Lyft driver? And if they aren't different , who is the owner-operator an employee of? Or is the ability to set prices and negotiate not as important as you originally seemed to think?
...because this isn't the only thing that distinguishes a taxi driver from uber or lyft. The ability to set prices and negotiate was directly relevant and specific to point I had just made. I use independent contractors often as a self employed person. They don't market themselves to me, they don't set their rate, they don't negotiate with me. But they aren't part of the gig economy. They are highly specialised at what they do and they get paid well above market rate. Just because they are independent contractors who didn't negotiate with me nor marketed themselves to me (I sought them out) doesn't mean they are the equivalent to an Uber or a Lyft driver.

Quote:
When you posted this You didn't restrict it to California and perhaps a couple of other states with similar laws , so I assumed you were speaking more broadly. Yes, if California law defines them as employees they are employees and Uber, Lyft etc should comply with the law. But there are 40 something other states in the US that use the Federal Department of Labor's six factor test - and there is an opinion letter where the DOL decided that service providers working for a virtual marketplace company were independent contractors.
I don't live in America and I'm not subject to the whims of the Federal Department of Labor. Its a big world out there and we don't need to examine this in the context of America. It should be plainly obvious the likes of Uber have based their business model on exploiting loopholes in the law. Throughout their history they have ignored local laws and ordinance. And they still can't regularly turn a profit.
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Old 03-12-2020, 08:25 PM
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Maybe I'm not, I haven't ever looked at how effective the unemployment fund is. But if it's not working, we should fix that.
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So? That's why I pay taxes for unemployment services, to help people get jobs.
...why do you say stuff like this, when it becomes apparent you don't actually really know what you are talking about? You weren't talking about "the unemployment fund" you talked about "unemployment services." What services were you talking about? Are you only talking about unemployment benefits? Besides giving people the ability to live while not working, how specifically do unemployment benefits "help people get jobs?"

Quote:
I believe... unemployment benefits are capped at about $275/wk for up to a max of 20 weeks. You have to check in with their office every now and again and prove you are trying to get a job.

I could see a point of failure if you have a family or medical condition. In theory there are other supposed to be other services designed to help with that stuff.

We are supposed to have housing programs for such situations. Unfortunately, they are underfunded.
Well yeah. Things aren't working. They need fixing. What is it, do you think this thread is all about?

Quote:
I was talking about traditional jobs with employers, not independent contractor work. You can't offer paid sick leave to a contractor, or at least I can't think of a way to make that work.

"Hi, I'm standing at the corner of Main and 5th, and I'm wasted. Can you take me home?"
"Sorry, I'm sick right now and can't drive you."
"Then why did you take the offer? Dammit, it already charged me!"
"That's my sick pay, thank you much."
What is it, do you think, this thread is all about? We are talking about the gig economy. What to do about it in the face of a pandemic. Relitigating the problem doesn't do anything to coming up with a solution.

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~Max
What are you confused about? How did you disagree with me?
  #74  
Old 03-12-2020, 08:31 PM
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IWhere did this idea start that once you employ someone, whether on the books or as contract work, that the worker somehow becomes your charge or your ward? That's nonsense.
Actually, it was a thing in the late 19th/early 20th Century, what with employee housing, paying employees in scrip usable only at a company store, all the stuff Henry Ford thought justified imposing on his workers....

Sort of goes back into feudal times, too, the notion that not only did a serf have obligations to his lord but a lord towards his underlings as well, but I'm pretty sure you're not eager for feudalism again.

Because the US society as a whole is unwilling to use tax money for a social safety net that role has been imposed on businesses. If you don't want employers to be so obligated then lobby for an actual social safety net such as many European nations have. Yes, that will cost the rich more money.

Or just leave people to starve and deal with the eventually uprising/revolution because hungry people are desperate people.
  #75  
Old 03-12-2020, 09:25 PM
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  #76  
Old 03-12-2020, 09:57 PM
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...because this isn't the only thing that distinguishes a taxi driver from uber or lyft.
What are the differences that make a taxi driver not an employee and an Uber/Lyft driver an employee? Neither sets their own rates, both work when they want to rather than according to an employers's schedule, both can either make a profit or lose money. It seems like you think that using a particular sort of app makes someone an employee. It's the same position Uber/Lyft originally took regarding regulation - that somehow, they're different because drivers are matched with passengers through an app rather than a phone call or street hail.


Quote:
I don't live in America and I'm not subject to the whims of the Federal Department of Labor. Its a big world out there and we don't need to examine this in the context of America. It should be plainly obvious the likes of Uber have based their business model on exploiting loopholes in the law. Throughout their history they have ignored local laws and ordinance. And they still can't regularly turn a profit.
I didn't bring up California, you did.
  #77  
Old 03-12-2020, 10:56 PM
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What are the differences that make a taxi driver not an employee and an Uber/Lyft driver an employee? Neither sets their own rates, both work when they want to rather than according to an employers's schedule, both can either make a profit or lose money. It seems like you think that using a particular sort of app makes someone an employee. It's the same position Uber/Lyft originally took regarding regulation - that somehow, they're different because drivers are matched with passengers through an app rather than a phone call or street hail.
...if Uber themselves are arguing that Uber drivers are not comparable to Taxi drivers, why are you attempting to do so?

From the Barbara Berwick decision:

Quote:
Originally Posted by NYT
“Defendants hold themselves out as nothing more than a neutral technological platform, designed simply to enable drivers and passengers to transact the business of transportation,” the Labor Commissioner’s Office wrote about Uber. “The reality, however, is that defendants are involved in every aspect of the operation.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/18/b...employees.html

Quote:
The Uber decision noted that Uber retained all necessary control by obtaining the clients who needed its services and then supplying the workers who provided the services.
https://www.lexology.com/library/det...7-c18aedda902d

You can hail a cab in the street. You can walk past three or four taxis and get into the one that has a cleaner car. There is scope for a Taxi driver to market and get their own business. This is entirely out of the control of an Uber driver.

Quote:
I didn't bring up California, you did.
I didn't bring up the Federal Department of Labor, you did. I used California specifically in response to a particular point, which was who is and isn't an employee is determined by the particular laws in specific areas.
  #78  
Old 03-12-2020, 11:18 PM
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Where did this idea start that once you employ someone, whether on the books or as contract work, that the worker somehow becomes your charge or your ward? That's nonsense.
Do you consider your employees assets or liabilities?
  #79  
Old 03-13-2020, 09:30 AM
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You weren't talking about "the unemployment fund" you talked about "unemployment services." What services were you talking about? Are you only talking about unemployment benefits? Besides giving people the ability to live while not working, how specifically do unemployment benefits "help people get jobs?"
Since you asked, I checked. Here in Florida, businesses pay an unemployment tax, but it is called the "reemployment tax". The tax revenue flows into an unemployment fund. Workers who are out of a job due to no fault of their own who are able and available to work can submit claims to the Florida dept. of Economic Opportunity. If the claim is accepted, that department uses the fund to provide benefits including a weekly cash allowance, training sessions, resume-building, and I think even a job board. There are both physical offices and online websites to provide these services.

I wouldn't be surprised if our state legislature has been tightening the noose around the program, but it is still supposed to exist.
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Well yeah. Things aren't working. They need fixing. What is it, do you think this thread is all about?
Unemployment benefits, even if underfunded, are not supposed to flow to self-employed people. I'm not sure whether driving for uber immediately voids your reemployment claim, but it is definitely going to reduce the benefits. Being unable to continue working for Uber, for example by contracting some disease that puts you out of work, would not be enough to trigger unemployment benefits. Because gig workers aren't employees...

Which makes sense. If gig workers aren't employees, then they don't have employers paying a reemployment tax. If we want gig workers to receive unemployment services, we need to find a way to reclassify them as employees - which may or may not be desirable. We could also work out an alternate tax scheme, for example with income taxes, but seeing as we don't have an income tax here, I think that is unlikely.
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Originally Posted by Banquet Bear View Post
What is it, do you think, this thread is all about? We are talking about the gig economy. What to do about it in the face of a pandemic. Relitigating the problem doesn't do anything to coming up with a solution.
I don't think there is any chance of actually extending worker protections to gig workers on the timeframe of "yesterday". What can we do in the immediate term? We can try to pressure companies into being nice and volunteering benefits. There are disaster funds, both at local and federal levels, which could be used to provide basic services in particularly hot zones. States and even local governments have the police power to suspend evictions while everyone is home in quarantine. The CDC probably has authority to provide tests and treatment free of charge, although I doubt they have the means yet.
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Originally Posted by Banquet Bear View Post
What are you confused about? How did you disagree with me?
You had said, California passed some law, Uber & Lyft refused to comply, and therefore whether a worker is an employee or not is not entirely defined by law. I responded by claiming that Uber & Lyft are still subject to the law, that despite the court challenge, whether a worker is an employee or not is exclusively defined by law. Our arguments have mutually exclusive conclusions, so how can you claim that we are in agreement?



~Max
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Old 03-13-2020, 03:39 PM
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You had said, California passed some law, Uber & Lyft refused to comply, and therefore whether a worker is an employee or not is not entirely defined by law.
...where did the bolded not come from? Perhaps you should read what I wrote a bit more carefully.
  #81  
Old 03-13-2020, 03:41 PM
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Srsly.
  #82  
Old 03-13-2020, 04:04 PM
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Because the US society as a whole is unwilling to use tax money for a social safety net that role has been imposed on businesses. If you don't want employers to be so obligated then lobby for an actual social safety net such as many European nations have. Yes, that will cost the rich more money.
I don't think I'm rich (yet! Optimism...) but I'm ok with it costing me more money too.
  #83  
Old 03-15-2020, 03:45 PM
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Not clear on the concept


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Originally Posted by D'Anconia View Post
Please explain why you think that people should be paid for NOT working???
I am doubtless not the first to say, but you appear to be unaware of the implications. If someone has a contagious illness and goes to work ... but I'm sure you can guess the rest.
  #84  
Old 03-15-2020, 03:54 PM
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Isn't the potential situation with coronavirus slightly different to normal sick leave? With shutdowns like they've had in China and Italy, it's not employees staying home because they're sick, it's practically everyone staying home in order to prevent the spread of the disease. They're not actually sick.

And it's the government - federal, state or local - ordering them to stay home and not work. It's not their choice.

So it would make sense for there to be some one-time only actions taken to help those employees, and it's the government's responsibility to take those actions. Italy, for example, has suspended mortgage payments (and some reports also say utility bills), which then leads to rent payments being suspended (the govt will end up bailing the banks out for the lost payments, like the UK did for other reasons a few years ago). The workers still aren't earning, but at least they're also not getting into debt and risking losing their homes, so when the crisis is over they can get back on their feet again.

TBH, that makes more sense than trying to get all employers including small companies to provide extra sick pay for people who aren't actually sick. That would require changing far more laws and requiring admin from small companies who might find it difficult to do extra admin when their workers are on lockdown.

As to why those non-working people should get paid, or rather, not have to pay for a short period of time - if too many gig workers end up in huge debt, bankrupt or homeless, then they won't have money to spend to stimulate the economy.
I am left wondering what the European governments are going to do about the businesses, restaurants and shops that have closed down due to the shutdown. My guess is that they will help out as much as they can, but the costs could be gigantic. And this is just the start. The predictions are for it to be really bad from June to August, and then to pick up again by the winter. How long is this going to last? And how many businesses will go bust?
  #85  
Old 03-15-2020, 04:29 PM
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I am left wondering what the European governments are going to do about the businesses, restaurants and shops that have closed down due to the shutdown. My guess is that they will help out as much as they can, but the costs could be gigantic. And this is just the start. The predictions are for it to be really bad from June to August, and then to pick up again by the winter. How long is this going to last? And how many businesses will go bust?
Not just Europe, of course. It’ll be a global issue, even in Taiwan, considering how interconnected the world’s economies are. As I’ve said elsewhere, since it’s an election year here in the U.S., I’m sure something will be done; just not sure what. Maybe the federal government can ask Jeff Bezos for 0.01% of his net worth, I dunno.

And which predictions are you referring to?
  #86  
Old 03-15-2020, 09:26 PM
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The Times today published an editorial on the sick leave problem today. Link.. The on-line version has a chart showing companies not offering sick leave - McDonalds and WalMart lead.
Flu cases were 11% lower in states or cities with required sick leave.
Why would I want to patronize a company which basically encourages workers to report in sick (by not paying them otherwise) and thus putting my health at risk? The editorial also gives the cost of offering sick leave - an average of 2.7 cents an hour. Too expensive to protect our health? Fuck you companies.
  #87  
Old 03-17-2020, 11:07 AM
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...where did the bolded not come from? Perhaps you should read what I wrote a bit more carefully.
...

Right you are, Banquet Bear.

~Max
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Old 03-17-2020, 12:08 PM
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Link.. The on-line version has a chart showing companies not offering sick leave - McDonalds and WalMart lead.
This is not totally accurate. The website's infographic is based on a survey of workers, not companies. As is pointed out in the article, many workers may be unaware of or afraid to utilize their sick leave benefits.

Since 2015, McDonalds-owned restaurants (about 10% of McDonalds restaurants) have offered paid time off for employees after one year of experience. As cited in the New York Times article, thirteen states already require large companies to offer paid sick leave. Wal-Mart has offered sick leave to all employees since February of 2019, which may be after the Shift Project collected their data.

But what about gig workers? If the law does not recognize an employer-employee relationship, that is, if you have a self-employed worker calling in sick, who exactly would provide the compensation? If you employ yourself, it is your responsibility to provide for your own benefits. We could pass a law garnishing the income of self-employed individuals, on the basis that they cannot be trusted to save responsibly. But I don't think the premise is true; gig workers appear to be incapable of bringing in enough money to save to begin with. So the garnishment would probably bring income below the level of sustenance.

We could, as proposed above, reclassify gig workers as employees. This might work for certain arrangements, such as Uber or Instacart. I don't think it would be appropriate to reclassify gig workers unless they work over 30 hours or so, the reason being that the worker has no contractual obligation to actually work until accepting a particular micro-job. Unless the worker has in fact been working on a regular basis for a significant number of hours, I don't think I can support an implied employer-employee relationship between the marketplace and the worker.

~Max
  #89  
Old 03-17-2020, 01:28 PM
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This is not totally accurate. The website's infographic is based on a survey of workers, not companies. As is pointed out in the article, many workers may be unaware of or afraid to utilize their sick leave benefits.

Since 2015, McDonalds-owned restaurants (about 10% of McDonalds restaurants) have offered paid time off for employees after one year of experience. As cited in the New York Times article, thirteen states already require large companies to offer paid sick leave. Wal-Mart has offered sick leave to all employees since February of 2019, which may be after the Shift Project collected their data.

But what about gig workers? If the law does not recognize an employer-employee relationship, that is, if you have a self-employed worker calling in sick, who exactly would provide the compensation? If you employ yourself, it is your responsibility to provide for your own benefits. We could pass a law garnishing the income of self-employed individuals, on the basis that they cannot be trusted to save responsibly. But I don't think the premise is true; gig workers appear to be incapable of bringing in enough money to save to begin with. So the garnishment would probably bring income below the level of sustenance.

We could, as proposed above, reclassify gig workers as employees. This might work for certain arrangements, such as Uber or Instacart. I don't think it would be appropriate to reclassify gig workers unless they work over 30 hours or so, the reason being that the worker has no contractual obligation to actually work until accepting a particular micro-job. Unless the worker has in fact been working on a regular basis for a significant number of hours, I don't think I can support an implied employer-employee relationship between the marketplace and the worker.

~Max
I didn't see the need to quote the entire article. Clearly they offer sick leave in states that require it. And companies whose cultures make it unwise to use sick leave are not much better than ones without benefits. I worked for a big company where we didn't have to stay until 9 pm - it was purely voluntary - but the one person who didn't stay got killed at the next performance review.
Which is why employee responses are more accurate than corporate ones.
Uber and Lyft, in California at least, said they are paying drivers sick time.
Yeah the gig economy is a problem. My wife is a writer, freelance, and if she gets sick one day she can make it up by working on the weekend. Many contract employees who have to come in don't have that luxury.
  #90  
Old 03-17-2020, 01:39 PM
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This is not totally accurate. The website's infographic is based on a survey of workers, not companies. As is pointed out in the article, many workers may be unaware of or afraid to utilize their sick leave benefits.
This is functionally equivalent to not having sick leave. It's not hard to inform your employees of their benefits and ensure that they are encouraged to use them. Most of these companies do the opposite.
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Old 03-17-2020, 06:05 PM
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This is functionally equivalent to not having sick leave. It's not hard to inform your employees of their benefits and ensure that they are encouraged to use them. Most of these companies do the opposite.
I will concede the argument with regard to the big picture, but I still think there is utility in pointing out the difference. I wrote that bit on the off-chance that it helps one of the Teeming Millions: an immediate solution can be as simple as talking with a manager or reviewing some employee handbook, rather than waiting on corporate to crumble under a public pressure campaign.

~Max
  #92  
Old 03-17-2020, 07:30 PM
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This is not totally accurate. The website's infographic is based on a survey of workers, not companies. As is pointed out in the article, many workers may be unaware of or afraid to utilize their sick leave benefits.

Since 2015, McDonalds-owned restaurants (about 10% of McDonalds restaurants) have offered paid time off for employees after one year of experience. As cited in the New York Times article, thirteen states already require large companies to offer paid sick leave. Wal-Mart has offered sick leave to all employees since February of 2019, which may be after the Shift Project collected their data.

But what about gig workers? If the law does not recognize an employer-employee relationship, that is, if you have a self-employed worker calling in sick, who exactly would provide the compensation? If you employ yourself, it is your responsibility to provide for your own benefits. We could pass a law garnishing the income of self-employed individuals, on the basis that they cannot be trusted to save responsibly. But I don't think the premise is true; gig workers appear to be incapable of bringing in enough money to save to begin with. So the garnishment would probably bring income below the level of sustenance.

We could, as proposed above, reclassify gig workers as employees. This might work for certain arrangements, such as Uber or Instacart. I don't think it would be appropriate to reclassify gig workers unless they work over 30 hours or so, the reason being that the worker has no contractual obligation to actually work until accepting a particular micro-job. Unless the worker has in fact been working on a regular basis for a significant number of hours, I don't think I can support an implied employer-employee relationship between the marketplace and the worker.

~Max
The other thought to bear in mind - some people do gig work specifically because there is no employer / employee relationship.
I drove uber on a part-time basis purely because I was independent in the sense that I could work when and for how long I felt like it. How can you expect to take sickleave if you don't even want to work a regular roster or be rostered?
  #93  
Old 03-17-2020, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
I will concede the argument with regard to the big picture, but I still think there is utility in pointing out the difference. I wrote that bit on the off-chance that it helps one of the Teeming Millions: an immediate solution can be as simple as talking with a manager or reviewing some employee handbook, rather than waiting on corporate to crumble under a public pressure campaign.

~Max
Have you ever worked for a big company?

Charter Communications refuses to let its employees work from home, despite the crisis. Story.
A guy complained in an internal email. He more or less got fired. If the culture is don't take sick days, going to HR is not going to help a bit. They'll give you your sick day pay, and then rate you as unsatisfactory.

Ironically, Charter sells internet services. You'd think they'd lead by example.
  #94  
Old 03-17-2020, 10:13 PM
Euphonious Polemic is offline
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Originally Posted by Ruken View Post
It is possible to not provide paid sick leave while simultaneously discouraging or forbidding contageous people from coming in.
Well sure. You can fire them. Then get a healthy peasant to replace them.

Alternatively, you could have your armed security guards gun down anyone in your work compound who sneezes.
  #95  
Old 03-18-2020, 02:18 AM
RioRico is offline
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Originally Posted by bengangmo View Post
The other thought to bear in mind - some people do gig work specifically because there is no employer / employee relationship.
I drove uber on a part-time basis purely because I was independent in the sense that I could work when and for how long I felt like it. How can you expect to take sickleave if you don't even want to work a regular roster or be rostered?
In my idiotic, carefree salad days, when rice and cabbage were about all I could afford to eat but rotgut was cheap, I worked with daily-labor agencies in New York and San Francisco. I'd show up on days I wanted to work for sub-minimum wage. If I appeared every workday that week, even if not always assigned work, I received the balance of minimum wage. If payment was by check, the agency-owner's brother's bar next door cashed it for a beer.

The work: Hauling trash ("cartage"); schlepping hot fabric; filling off-label liquor or paint jugs; delivering new pianos - those had some supervision. Unloading boxcars; delivering store adverts house-to-house; hanging posters - those were do-it-till-done gigs, just me and my conscience. Work hard or sneakily, finish early, get paid for a full day, unsupervied. If I'd rather be elsewhere awhile, no problem. Freedom!

Sick leave? Ha. Just the standard GOP health plan: Don't get sick or hurt. No money for food? A convent down the street passed out sack lunches and the Hare Krishnas served hot meals. Nowhere to sleep? Yeah, that got tricky. But I survived.

Unlike Uber or Lyft, I didn't provide my own vehicle nor deal with other overhead. I didn't work for a loss. Gigwork looks like elective slavery indentured servitude. I'd hate to be that desperate.
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