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11 Drexel L. Rev. 1 (2018-2019)

handle is hein.journals/drexel11 and id is 1 raw text is: 





               UNBUNDLING EMPLOYMENT:
      FLEXIBLE BENEFITS FOR THE GIG ECONOMY

                       Seth C. Oranburg*

                           ABSTRACT
  Federal labor law requires employers to give employees a rigid
bundle of benefits, including the right to unionize, unemployment
insurance, worker's compensation insurance, health insurance, family
medical leave, and more. These benefits are not free-benefits cost
about one-third of wages-and someone must pay for them. Which of
these benefits are worth their cost? This Article takes a theoretical
approach to that problem and proposes a flexible benefits solution.
  Labor law developed under a traditional model of work: long-term
employees depended on a single employer to engage in goods-
producing work. Few people work that way today. Instead, modern
workers are increasingly using multiple technology platforms (such as
Uber,   Lyft, TaskRabbit, Amazon      Flex,  DoorDash,   Handy,
Moonlighting, FLEXABLE, PeoplePerHour, Rover,          Snagajob,
TaskEasy, Upwork, and many more) to provide short-term service-
producing work. Labor laws are a bad fit for this gig economy. New
legal paradigms are needed.
  The rigid labor law classification of all workers as either
employees (who get the entire bundle of benefits) or independent
contractors (who get none) has led to many lawsuits attempting to
redefine who is an employee in the gig economy. This issue grows
larger as more than one-fifth of the workforce is now categorized as an
independent contractor. Ironically, the requirement to provide a rigid
bundle of benefits to employees has resulted in fewer workers receiving
any benefits at all.


Associate Professor, Duquesne University School of Law; Research Fellow and Program
Affiliate Scholar, New York University School of Law; J.D., University of Chicago Law School;
B.A., University of Florida.

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