Bloomberg Law
March 27, 2020, 4:52 PM

Pandemic Inspires Fresh Thinking on Safety Net for Gig Workers

Erin Mulvaney
Erin Mulvaney

Edan Alva hadn’t earned enough driving for Lyft Inc. to pay the rent when he felt the flu-like symptoms come on. A full-time driver considered an independent contractor, he doesn’t have the sick time guaranteed to employees.

“I worked through the sickness and paid the rent,” said Alva, an organizer for the activist group Gig Workers Rising, who has driven for five years in California’s Bay Area.

Experiences, such as Alva’s in January, can now be wielded to show the gaps in protections for workers that existed before the pandemic presented drivers with a choice between exposing themselves to illness ...

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