Employee or Independent Contractor?

Uber, Lyft effect on economy show work ‘innovation’: Case

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From CNBC, Erin Barry shares a conversation with Steve Case, co-founder of AOL.

“We’ve seen this for more than a decade in sort of the white collar jobs. People who are teachers might tutor, [and] lawyers who become moms maybe can do legal work on the side,” AOL co-founder Steve Case told CNBC’s “On the Money.” “We’re just now seeing that broaden and giving that same opportunity to people in other fields.”

More people are entering the gig economy workforce, more than 50 million in 2015, an increase of 700,000 from 2014, according to figures from the Freelancer’s Union, calling into question how the new economy should be regulated. While the vast majority of workers in this economy have other sources of income, about 15 million Americans say working these gigs makes up more than 40 percent of their pay.

Uber, Lyft and grocery delivery app Instacart are just some of the “on-demand” companies facing lawsuits from workers. These dissidents are calling for the companies to reclassify their status from independent contractor to employee, the better for them to partake of benefits offered to full-time workers….

The businessman defended the on-demand business model, telling CNBC that both workers and policymakers must adapt to the new reality.

“We need to recognize that the nature of work itself has changed,” says Case. “I think that will accelerate in the third wave and that will put more pressure on policymakers to keep up with the innovations.”

That “third wave,” which is also the name of his new book, references what he’s calling the next era of the internet. Case explains the first wave was the foundation.

Companies like AOL built a platform that allowed people to get access to the web, while the second wave consisted of companies building on top of the internet and helping people search, shop and connect online. It’s where the world saw the rise of Google, Amazon and Facebook.

In the third wave, which we are entering now, Case argues the internet will become as ubiquitous as electricity — meaning it will not be the internet of things, but the internet of everything.

“The third wave is really integrating the internet in seamless and pervasive ways throughout our lives, and I think it’s going to change the nature of work,” he said. “It’s also going to change how our kids learn in classes, how we stay healthy, how doctors and hospitals work, energy, transportation, even the food sector.”

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