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App companies propose new model for worker benefits

John Ribeiro | Nov. 11, 2015
Some app companies are facing pressure to provide benefits to their workers.

Instead, the statement recommends that diverse stakeholders should gather to discuss issues such as who should contribute financially and how much, the type of organization or organizations that should administer the benefits and protections, and the type of legislative or regulatory action required for the new model. It also expressed its preference for resolving the issues through policy development instead of litigation.

Describing the goal to seek protections for workers who are classified as independent contractors as an "admirable and important" one, Liss-Riordan warned in an emailed statement that it "should not detract from employers’ obligations to their employees under our current set of laws, or provide an excuse for companies to evade current laws based on the hope that one day a new social safety net will be created."

Uber, Amazon and some other notable app companies are not signatories to the new proposal on "portable" benefits. The group could not be immediately reached for comment on the absence of these companies.

The new proposal was supported on Twitter by Senator Mark Warner, a Democrat from Virginia, who backs the creation of a new, third classification for on-demand workers. Warner in his tweet welcomed the consensus from key players in the on-demand economy.

 

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