7:26:07 AM PDT - Tuesday, October 4th, 2022

FTC sets its sights on ‘unfair, deceptive, and anticompetitive practices’ in gig economy  

By Editor - Thu Sep 15, 3:38 pm

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The Federal Trade Commission is looking into the complex and potentially unfair economics and policies of the gig economy for “deceptive, unfair, and otherwise unlawful acts and practices.” Whether it’s forced arbitration, labor misclassification, or algorithmic pay and job distribution, the agency says it will go after any dubious tactics that hurt workers. To be clear, a “statement of policy” like that issued today is not a new rulemaking or law. It is what it sounds like, but you might think about it more as a statement of priorities. The FTC has been aware of and indeed working against unfair labor practices in the gig economy for years — the salad days of exploitation (as of so many things) was before the pandemic, even. But today’s circumstances and the particular pro-labor interests of this administration, and FTC Chair Lina Khan, mean it has climbed up the old to-do list by a few notches. (I’ve asked the FTC for a little more information on how they might put it, and will update his post if they get back to me.) The policy statement itself, which you can download here, is a very straightforward enumeration of the various pros, cons, and actual cons involved in the gig economy. It’s only 17 pages and very readable (this isn’t a legal document, though it is copiously footnoted), but I’ll just bullet the main complaints here: Control without responsibility : roles are often defined to maximize risk on the worker and minimize responsibilities or expenses by the employer. Diminished bargaining power : a lack of transparency and decentralized work environment, and legal recourse waivers limit the ability of workers to take action against employers.

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FTC sets its sights on ‘unfair, deceptive, and anticompetitive practices’ in gig economy

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