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Through technological advances, businesses today are able to connect customers to services more seamlessly than ever before. However, the workers providing these services are difficult to classify within the traditional labor-law dichotomy of employees and independent contractors. On December 9, The Hamilton Project hosted a policy forum addressing these labor market challenges in the online gig economy, and released a new paper by Alan Krueger (Princeton University) and Seth Harris (Cornell University). The forum included two moderated roundtable discussions.
The rise of technological intermediaries enabling workers to engage in the gig economy has resulted in protracted legal battles over whether to classify these workers as “employees” or “independent contractors.” Seth Harris and Alan Krueger propose assigning benefits and protections to independent workers according to whether or not the new benefits meet three certain considerations, and seek to address several growing issues in the labor market.