Subpar Healthcare Subsidies and Minimal Protections: Terri Gerstein Debunks Myth of ‘Portable Benefits’ Touted by Gig Companies

Terri Gerstein (’95), Director of the State and Local Enforcement Project at the Harvard Law School Labor and Worklife Program, contributed an opinion to The Colorado Sun urging Coloradans to beware of California’s Prop 22 precedent of “portable benefits” for gig workers as employers seek similar worker classifications in other states (“Opinion: Why Coloradans Should Be Skeptical about Gig Companies’ Promises,” Jan. 21). “To be sure, workers for gig companies like Uber, DoorDash, and Instacart are among those who should be prioritized for the vaccine: they’ve risked their health enabling others to stay safe. This truth should make policymakers and the public even more reluctant to strip them of rights — and skeptical of companies’ slick claims about ‘portable benefits’ as a trade-off. . . . Colorado and other states should resist companies’ campaign to deprive workers of employee protections. Most serious experts agree that low-wage workers are far better off as employees than as atomized and unprotected independent contractors.”