Remote Control: The Truth and Proof About Gig Companies as Employers


Gig companies sell themselves to the public, to policymakers, and to their own workers as mere facilitators of business relationships between users of their services and independent businesspeople offering services. The facts are otherwise. The companies exert, via algorithm and via their contracts with workers, control over the important details of work. These controls mean that their workers are forbidden from operating as an independent business would: They cannot build a client base, often know little about the details of a job before they accept it, and cannot set prices so that they have an opportunity to profit. This table compares what the companies say with their actual practices.

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About the Author

Rebecca Smith

Director of Work Structures, National Employment Law Project

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