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13 J.L. Econ. & Pol'y 209 (2017)
A Free Market Approach to the Rideshare Industry and Worker Classification: The Consequences of Employee Status and a Proposed Alternative

handle is hein.journals/jecoplcy13 and id is 217 raw text is: 

2017]


    A FREE MARKET APPROACH TO THE RIDESHARE
    INDUSTRY AND WORKER CLASSIFICATION: THE
    CONSEQUENCES OF EMPLOYEE STATUS AND A
                   PROPOSED ALTERNATIVE

                            Easton Saltsman*



INTRODUCTION: THE AGE OF THE SHARING ECONOMY - INNOVATION
     LEADING TO LEGAL OBSTACLES

     Although we now live in the age of the sharing economy, the
definition of this market is as murky as the laws and regulations that
surround it. The sharing economy grew out of the popularity of social
networking and e-commerce, and it mobilizes technology, markets, and
the 'wisdom of crowds' to bring strangers together.' Although the sharing
economy encompasses a variety of different businesses, the typical business
model is app-driven and connects an aggregation of individuals to share or
trade underutilized assets.' Not only has the sharing economy been a part
of a disruptive force that is breaking down the corporate structure of the
twentieth century, but this new economy is also breaking down outdated
regulations and laws.
     Many new start-ups, from peer-to-peer fashion to Airbnb's lodging
services, are fighting to classify their companies under the broad range of
digital platforms that comprise the sharing economy.3 The rideshare sector
of the sharing economy has been highly successful thus far and provides the
best demonstration of the uneasy relationship between new technology and
traditional legal concepts that threaten its continued expansion.          The
rideshare industry has been highly successful in disrupting the taxi service


      J.D., George Mason University School of Law, 2017.
      See Juliet Schor, Debating the Sharing Economy, GREAT TRANSITION INITIATIVE, Oct. 2014, at
 1,7.
    2 Robert Sprague, Worker (Mis)Classification in the Sharing Economy: Trying to Fit Square
Pegs in Round Holes, 31 A.B.A. J. LAB. & EMP. L. 53, 54 (2015) (The always-connected, app-driven
U.S. economy of the early twenty-first century fostered development of a new online business model:
people with underutilized assets-time, particular skills, vehicles, household goods, spare bedrooms, or
even home-cooked meals-connect with other people or businesses seeking those assets.); Christopher
Koopman, Matthew Mitchell, & Adam Thierer, Mercatus Center, Comment Letter on Sharing Economy
Workshop, Project No. P15-1200, 1, 3 (May 26, 2015), https://www.mercatus.org/publieation/sharing-
economy-issues-facing-platforms-participants-and-regulators.
    3 See Schor, supra note 1, at 1; Sarah Cannon & Lawrence H. Summers, How Uber and the
Sharing Economy Can Win Over Regulators, HARV. Bus. REV. (Oct. 13, 2014),
https://hbr.org/2014/1 0/how-uber-and-the-sharing-economy-can-win-over-regulators/.

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