He says over the years, the independent contractor workforce has grown, partly because employers don’t have to pay things like overtime or health benefits.
John-Paul Ferguson, who teaches strategy at Stanford’s business school, says if Uber drivers are considered employees, that means higher labor costs, and ultimately, “We would probably see that passed on as slightly higher prices to end customers.”
But that won’t kill Uber’s success, Ferguson says. It’ll just give them less of an advantage over regular cab companies. As to how this ruling might affect other app-based services like Airbnb or TaskRabbit?
“There’s going to be a lot of careful parsing of how different firms have treated the people who are using their apps to provide services to people,” he says.
Ferguson says it’ll probably depend on what kind of contracts exist between the firms and the service providers.
The sharing economy has been praised for its flexibility for employees — and criticized for its potential for discrimination and lack of benefits. Here are a few stories on the issue:
If you’re a member of your local public radio station, we thank you — because your support helps those stations keep programs like Marketplace on the air. But for Marketplace to continue to grow, we need additional investment from those who care most about what we do: superfans like you.
Your donation — as little as $5 — helps us create more content that matters to you and your community, and to reach more people where they are – whether that’s radio, podcasts or online.
When you contribute directly to Marketplace, you become a partner in that mission: someone who understands that when we all get smarter, everybody wins.