Another Failed Attempt in the Books

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Humans might be the smartest species our world has ever seen, but that doesn’t save us from our imperfections. Talk about human imperfections, they have popped up on the surface time and time throughout our history, and while some of their appearances have ended up teaching us a lot, there have also been a few that went on to cause irreparable damage along the way. Now, when you are dealing with such a massive risk, you naturally need some sort of a defensive cover. We will, on our part, find the stated cover once we bring dedicated regulatory bodies into the fold. The move was a massive game-changer, as it provided us with a safety that we never had before. However, the dynamic was pretty short-lived, and it was all because of technology. With technology taking over the scene, people suddenly had a chance at exploiting others and their missteps. This quickly overwhelmed our governing structure, and consequentially, brought us back to square one. Fortunately, though, if we can take something away from all the recent cases, it would be how the regulatory community finally looks poised to navigate through what has turned into a tech-driven society. The latest piece of evidence for the same emerges from a Massachusetts court ruling.

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has officially rejected a proposed ballot measure, which was designed to give gig workers the status of independent contracts rather than employees. According to certain reports, the court found that the measure actually violated a state’s law, therefore making it ineligible for any vote. Now, while the decision might throw a myriad of potential problems at companies like Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash moving forward, it also gives them an instant financial blow by ending their $17.8 million campaign. In response to the ruling, these companies, along with their staunch supporters such as a group called Chamber of Progress, claimed how the employment status can create obligations that might eventually result in loss of a job for many drivers. However, several labor rights activist groups argued by pointing out that, if the measure was approved, it would have encouraged gig companies to continue with their current compensation structure, which at the moment, is not providing workers with even a basic minimum wage.

This isn’t the first time gig companies have tried and failed to get their way. In 2020, they got California to approve Preposition 22 only for the authorities to deem it as unconstitutional later on.

“This [ballot question initiative] was a very clear effort to get what they couldn’t get from the legislative process by masking this in terms of the worker rights or the flexibility of employees’ schedules or workers’ schedules, when in point of fact, they have a much greater agenda which is to limit their liability,” said William Galvin, Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth.

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