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Don’t Forget to Tip Your Driver (and Email Your State Rep)

Upgrade your weekend—then pay it forward
Don't forget to tip your Uber driver!

By Dan Letchworth

Apps that let you hire single-serving task minions are as irresistible as coffee machines with disposable plastic pods. Use them once and throw them away, without ever getting your hands dirty! But like a sad narwhal choked by a floating garbage patch, the “gig economy” worker suffers the hidden cost of convenience. Because they’re classified as independent contractors, people offering on-demand services through apps—much like the drivers conducting all that free Amazon shipping—often have none of the rights an employee would, like paid time off, workers’ comp, or employer health insurance.

So what can the empathetic-but-lazy do? Boycott Uber? (Good luck beating that steam engine, John Henry.) Instead, we can encourage labor law to keep up with the changing economy. The California 1099 Self-Organizing Act (formally AB 1727), which as of press time is awaiting committee discussion, would allow independent contractors to organize and negotiate with their employment platforms like traditional workers do. Why not email your assembly member and use the time you saved not doing your own chores to look out for the lives of the people who did?

Don’t Forget to Tip Your Driver (and Email Your State Rep)

Don’t forget to tip your Uber driver!

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