In less than two months, there have been more than 30 million unemployment claims as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Millions of Americans saw their businesses shuttered, their paychecks put on indefinite hold. Now, as some states take steps towards reopening their economies, others are firmly slamming the door shut on workers—and opportunity.
Enter California, whose attorney general recently announced a lawsuit against Uber and Lyft over driver classification. The suit claims that the companies have denied workers benefits by classifying them as contractors rather than employees, and follows California’s AB5, a law that went into effect this year and requires gig economy companies to classify workers as employees.
This law, and following lawsuit, was problematic before COVID-19. But in the aftermath of COVID-19, it’s not just problematic—it’s asinine.