Julia Simon-Mishel Celebrates Win for Gig Workers’ Rights as Pennsylvania Supreme Court Deems Uber Driver Eligible for Unemployment Benefits

Julia Simon-Mishel (‘14), Supervising Attorney at Philadelphia Legal Assistance, was quoted in The Philadelphia Inquirer regarding a recent win for her client, a Philadelphia Uber driver who had been denied unemployment benefits by Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor and Industry as a “self-employed” worker (“Gig Workers Score a Victory in Pa. Supreme Court Ruling on Uber Drivers’ Unemployment Benefits,” July 29). In a 5-2 decision bolstering the movement to secure protections for app-based gig workers, the court considered “control” in the context of Pennsylvania law stipulating independent contractors must be “free from control” of businesses they contract with. “The court recognized what a lot of workers have been advocating for a long time” which is that “while the control that Uber exerts may look different than the control of middle management in a physical office, it is still control.” In a related article in the Pennsylvania Capital-Star, Julia celebrated the court’s move, “Very few courts have been able to address this straight on like the Supreme Court did here.” (“How a Supreme Court Ruling on an Uber Driver Could Remake Pennsylvania’s Gig Economy,” Jul. 28)