News & Commentary

May 22, 2023

Peter Morgan

Peter Morgan is a student at Harvard Law School.

In this weekend’s news: the Minnesota legislature passes a labor bill offering protections for ride-share drivers, Bandcamp employees elect a union, and a gig company in San Francisco settles misclassification suits.

Following the passage of an omnibus labor bill on Tuesday, the Minnesota legislature passed a bill guaranteeing ride-share drivers a minimum wage and other protections. The bill, HF 2369, requires two new floors for driver pay: a per-mile minimum ($1.34, or $1.45 in the Twin Cities), and a per-minute minimum ($0.34). Governor Walz expressed some encouragement for the bill but still indicated he needed to discuss the matter further before signing it. Uber and Lyft responded to the bill’s passage with a statement suggesting it would reduce or shut down its operations in the state.

On Friday, employees at the music platform Bandcamp voted to form a union with OPEIU. Bandcamp, acquired by Epic Games in 2022, has positioned itself as a fan-driven digital music store that gives a greater share of their revenue to artists. The union, Bandcamp United, had cited union busting practices in its contest with Bandcamp and Epic. Upon the election, one of Bandcamp’s co-founders issued a joint statement with the union signaling their intent to work together and negotiate in good faith

Handy Technologies, a gig-working company that offers in-house services through an app, has agreed to pay $6 million to settle allegations that it misclassified its employees as independent contractors in violation of California’s employment classification laws. The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office and the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office accused Handy of misclassifying approximately 25,000 workers in California between March 2017 and May 2023, depriving them of entitled workplace benefits. Under the settlement filed in San Francisco Superior Court, Handy will pay $4.8 million in restitution to its workers who performed cleaning and handyman services and an additional civil penalty of $1.2 million.

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