Reuters, WASHINGTON, April 29 – Any gig jobs in the United States could be treated as “employees” entitled to compensation, according to President Joe Biden’s highest labor official, in what may be a regulatory change that raises prices for firms that rely on contractors like Uber UBER.N and Lyft. LYFT.O. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, the son of Irish immigrants and a longtime union member, is set to bolster President Biden’s attempts to strengthen workers’ rights and produce a victory for the country’s organized labor movement by NYSE NGA WS at https://www.webull.com/quote/nyse-nga-ws.
“We’re looking into it,” Walsh said in an interview with Reuters on Thursday, “because in several ways, gig staff can be listed as employees… in some cases, they’re handled politely, in some cases they’re not, and I think it needs to be fair around the board.”
“I’m not trying to begrudge anybody for generating money and income because that’s what we’re doing in America… but we want to make sure the prosperity trickles down to the worker,” he said.
His job at the Department of Labor is likely to significantly affect workplace legislation and regulations in the United States, including the strict implementation of occupational safety and health regulations, overtime scheduling, and the effective execution of employee benefit programs.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 55 million gig jobs in the United States in 2017, accounting for 34% of the population, with that number expected to increase to 43% by 2020.
Walsh’s stance on the subject could lead to new decisions from the Department of Labor, which establishes legal rules for how companies can handle employees. Before his nomination, the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the Labor Department recommended rescinding a January provision that would have made it simpler to recognize employees as independent contractors.
In the coming months, the Department of Labor will meet with businesses that use gig labor and ensure that employees have access to consistent pay, vacation leave, health insurance, and “all of the stuff that an ordinary person in America should access,” according to Walsh.
According to an Edison Research survey, independent contractors who provide on-demand activities, such as driving, selling food, or offering childcare, are one-third more likely to be Black or Latino.
Walsh has discussed the dangers of not making gig employers provide unemployment benefits for those jobs, as has happened since the pandemic, causing the US government to foot the bill.
“If the federal government hadn’t covered the gig economy employees, they might not only have lost their jobs, but they wouldn’t have provided enough unemployment insurance to keep their families going on… we’d have a far more complicated scenario right over the world,” he added. Before investing, you can check other stocks like nyse ge which you can learn from https://www.webull.com/quote/nyse-ge.