#PayUp: It’s time to reboot the gig economy

Target: Lawmakers, companies, customers, and investors

Gig jobs can be good jobs. But that won’t happen until the companies Pay Up.

We want to protect the flexibility & convenience of working as independent contractors in the gig economy — while also making sure companies don’t use it as an excuse for dramatically low pay, tip theft, and black-box pay algorithms.

We’re coming together around three demands for new laws to secure basic rights for gig workers…

1) Pay floor of $15/hr + expenses, for every hour with an active job
There are a lot of specific issues with the ways specific apps pay — but most of them come down to a bottom line: how much we’re getting paid for our time. After expenses.

We’re calling for outside accountability: laws that say every job being offered by every gig economy company must meet the basic requirement of paying enough to make the time — and gas, and car maintenance, and other expenses — that we spend on it worth the while.

Our proposal: requiring gig companies to meet a minimum pay floor equivalent to at least a $15/hr for every hour on an active job, plus the cost of expenses, for time we spend actively working.

Being classified as independent contractors shouldn’t give companies an excuse to pay us less than the minimum wage.

There are lots of details to be worked out about how this would look on each app, but the key idea is that companies should be paying us a rate at least equivalent to $15 for every hour on an active job + expenses for our work. That should be a bottom line they can’t go below.

2) Tips on top
A tip is a tip. It’s extra. It’s on top. When a customer adds a tip, they’re doing it because they want to give a little extra to the people doing the work.
Nobody wants to be tipping a corporation worth billions of dollars.
So let’s make that real. We need a clear and sharp legal definition that tips are on top of pay. Tips are a supplement to pay, not a substitute. That’s pretty basic.

3) Transparency
Workers deserve to know what they’re being paid and why. Just like employees get a pay stub, gig workers deserve a detailed breakdown that shows the basic details of the work we’re doing: how long it took, how many miles, what we’re paid, and what “units of work” were involved — items shopped, etc.
This is a basic way to ensure real transparency for gig workers. No more black-box algorithms. We need a clear & consistent explanation of what we’re getting paid and why.
As workers in the gig economy, it’s time for our voices to finally be heard. Instacart shoppers led the way by creating a powerful national conversation about pay in the gig economy. Now, let’s use that momentum and go big.

Lawmakers across the country are listening. So let’s tell them: here’s what we need. It’s time for companies in the gig economy to #PayUp.

Thank you for being a part of it!
— Working Washington