By Nikki Fortunato Bas
Originally published in The Blog by The Huffington Post on October 19, 2015 as The On-Demand Economy Should Be Challenged By Workers
These are exciting times in the so-called "sharing economy," and not just for Silicon Valley techies and billionaire investors. The moment has finally arrived for the people who actually do the work of moving, sharing and renting their goods through businesses like Uber and AirBnB to get some much-needed attention.
Uber drivers in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Dallas and a number of other cities called for a strike this past weekend to address issues surrounding tips and rates. Earlier last week, Oregon's labor commissioner said in an advisory opinion that under Oregon law, Uber drivers should be seen as employees. This move opens the door for Uber drivers to assert all the rights normally afforded to employees in Oregon, including the right to a minimum wage, safe working conditions, and workers compensation and unemployment benefits. The advisory opinion contrasts sharply with the company's current practice of classifying its workers as independent contractors.