Terri Gerstein Calls on State and Local Governments to Protect Gig Workers

Terri Gerstein (’95), Director of the New York University Wagner Labor Initiative, contributed a guest essay to The New York Times discussing two consequential cases in Denver spotlighting worker misclassification and the need for legislation and enforcement to combat the exploitative gig business model (“More People Are Being Classified as Gig Workers. That’s Bad for Everyone.” Jan. 28). “New laws preventing abuses by tightening the definition of ‘independent contractor’ would help. But legislation alone isn’t the answer; enforcement is also essential. . . . American businesses large and small have managed to operate and flourish while paying minimum wage and overtime, providing a safe workplace, buying workers’ compensation insurance, and paying unemployment insurance and other payroll taxes. They’ve made a choice not to engage in the fiction that their employees are running small businesses. Allowing the gig model to expand and fester would be a choice as well — a choice with terrible outcomes for workers.”