Last month, the Department of Labor proposed a change to the way it determines the classification of independent contractors. If it eventually becomes law, the rule change would have a lasting effect on the gig economy and gig workers. It would replace a Trump-era rule that made it easier to classify workers as contractors, and thus not covered by federal minimum wage laws or entitled to benefits like health insurance and paid sick days. Yet the workforce is shifting to a flex model across the board, and delivery/rideshare drivers are no exception.
The recent AB5 reclassification measure in California has upended things, leading to some port work stoppages by angry contractors in Oakland who favored the status quo. So, of course, the DOL’s move has major implications for a huge portion of the last-mile delivery sector reliant on gig workers and independent contractors for their businesses to operate. Kashyap Deorah, CEO of HyperTrack, which has a logistics tech platform for last-mile providers, discusses how DOL and Congress need to take a balanced approach that doesn’t lean too far toward business interests or workers.