- Gig workers are looking to earn more money, network and build skills in 2020, according to a PeopleReady survey of more than 4,100 workers and 1,500 managers conducted online in September and October 2019, released Jan. 23. More than half say they are going to take on more assignments in 2020. The workers said they are pursuing more opportunities because they need more income (78%), want to get a foot in the door with a company (46%) and want to build new skills (43%).
- Managers said there are several "deal breakers" that would cause them not to invite a gig worker back to work for a temporary or permanent job such as showing up late or not at all, bad attitude, failing to show an interest or initiative to do more, talking on their cellphone often and failing to complete the job.
- So that gig workers can nail down repeat assignments or permanent placement with a company, PeopleReady suggested that gig workers "state your intentions," letting managers know they want to work for the company on a more regular basis. They also recommended workers "treat the gig like a job interview," including showing up early and doing the job well.
Temporary employment may grow to more than 3.2 million openings by 2025, an increase of nearly 254,000 over 2019 levels, according to a November 2019 report. But gig workers in California are facing uncertain times. California's AB-5, a worker classification law that went into effect Jan. 1 and presumes that workers are employees — allowing them to receive a comprehensive set of worker protections and access to benefits — rather than independent contractors, is already facing multiple challenges by those who prefer freelance work over employee status.
The controversial law already makes exemptions for several occupations, including certain medical professions, direct salespersons, commercial fishermen and truckers, among others. App-based drivers and others in California are hoping to secure an exemption to AB-5 via a ballot measure, a group said in a Jan. 8 statement. AB-5 threatens such workers' ability to work as independent contractors, according to the coalition, which is backed by Uber, Lyft and DoorDash. In addition, while stakeholders in the trucking industry were able to secure a quick win in their judicial challenge, others, including a freelance journalist group, were unsuccessful.
There is concern that the California law may soon inspire other states to adopt similar regulations, attorneys have told HR Dive.
Employers that hire independent contractors should make sure that they follow applicable statutes, regulations and case law to determine worker classification. HR also must remember that worker preference cannot dictate worker classification under the Fair Labor Standards Act.