Calling Another Shot at a Long-Running Injustice

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They might be the smartest species to ever walk the earth, but truth be told, human beings just cannot avoid making a mistake. This error-prone tendency of ours has, in fact, gone up on display quite a few times throughout the history, with each appearance practically forcing us to look for a defensive cover. We will, on our part, find the stated cover once we bring dedicated regulatory bodies into the fold. Having a well-defined authority across each and every area was a game-changer, as it instantly gave us a cushion against our many shortcomings. Now, such a development was always going to produce some serious utopia, but that being said, it was all pretty short-lived. Talk about what caused the sudden death; the answer will put technology at the heart of everything. You see, by letting its layered nature run the show, technology allowed people an unprecedented chance to exploit others for their own benefit. In case this didn’t sound bad enough, the whole runner soon began to materialize on a scale so massive that it expectantly overwhelmed our governing forces and sent them back to the drawing board. After spending a long time in the wilderness, though, it seems like the regulatory contingent is finally ready to make a comeback. The same has only gotten more and more evident over the recent past, and one new lawsuit does a lot to keep that trend alive and kicking.

DC Attorney General, Karl Racine has officially filed a lawsuit against the gig delivery company, Shipt, for what feels like another case of workers misclassification. According to the complaint, Shipt falsely labelled its employees as independent contractors just so that it could cheat them out of their deserved remuneration, along with all the other benefits and protections. Hold on, there’s more. If Racine’s words are to be believed, then the company’s business model is also in constant violation with DC’s minimum wage laws. To contextualize the statement, we must dig into the way Shipt works. So, the company basically requires every worker to sign up for hourly shifts, and it bases their payout on the number of orders they fulfil during that period. Now, while this sounds pretty fair, we must also acknowledge all those occasions when there aren’t enough orders for everyone. Hence, with Shipt not providing them any safety net whatsoever, the workers are forced to operate at a loss on such days.

“Increasingly, we’re seeing companies abuse hard-working District residents by fraudulently calling them independent contractors and, as a result, denying them wages and benefits they are legally owed,” Racine said in a statement. “At every step of the way Shipt cheats, putting profits over workers and violating its employees’ basic rights just to make another dollar. We’re using all our authority to level the playing field and hold Shipt accountable for trying to cheat DC workers.”

The lawsuit against Shipt comes at a time when the US government is already working to make it harder for gig companies to classify their workers as independent contractors. However, like we have seen in the past, the gig companies are just not ready to go down without a fight, and that’s exactly why the progression of this case should be worth to keep an eye on.

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