Podcast: How the Gig Economy Is Changing the Workforce

Hosted by: David Weisenfeld

The rapid rise of services like Uber and Lyft has highlighted one of the most notable trends in employment law, the growing contingent workforce. In fact, the trend has led to a new term, "the gig economy," referring to contingent workers operating in the digital marketplace. But it has also brought with it a host of employment law risks.

On this podcast, Fisher Phillips employment attorney Rich Meneghello, of the firm's Portland, Oregon office, takes an in-depth look at the gig economy. "It's an absolute game-changer," says Meneghello. "The gig economy has opened our eyes to a third category somewhere in the middle between employees and contractors."

How the Gig Economy is Changing the Workforce

September 12, 2016

Meneghello, who co-chairs his firm's Gig Economy Practice Group, says the average employer is now facing an entirely new vein of competition far different from traditional rivals. "The way of thinking is the main competitor," he explains. "People can cobble together a lifestyle by doing a variety of discrete tasks." Meneghello adds that the average gig worker likes the freedom and does not want to be treated as an employee.

But Uber and Lyft's legal difficulties suggest there are some employment law minefields with these issues. And, Meneghello notes, those companies are far from unique, noting that the real concern is misclassification. "Every employer should be concerned. This issue will be on your doorstep soon, if it isn't already," says Meneghello.