News & Commentary

February 15, 2018

Edward Nasser

Edward Nasser is a student at Harvard Law School.

In Lawson v. GrubHub Inc., No. 15-cv-05128, the Northern District of California ruled that a driver for Grubhub a meal delivery service, was an independent contractor, not an employee. The Court’s used California Supreme Court’s multi-factor test as stated in S.G. Borello & Sons, Inc. v. Department of Industrial Relations, 48 Cal.3d 341 (1989), focusing on “whether the person to whom service is rendered has the right to control the manner and means of accomplishing the result desired.”  Among other things, the court found that Grubhub did not control how Lawson made deliveries or his appearance when providing delivery services. The Financial Times offers some more insight on how gig economy companies continue to expand their influence by looking for legal flexibility.

A bipartisan House pair offered a new approach to fortifying the pension system for plans covering unionized workers, focused on keeping strong plans healthy. The Give Retirement Options to Workers (GROW) Act (H.R. 4997), introduced Feb. 14, would give some healthier “multiemployer” pension plans the choice of using a new option, a “composite plan.” The composite plan combines the features of traditional pensions with those of defined contribution plans such as 401(k)s. Multiemployer pensions are plans created jointly by unions and employers in industries such as trucking and construction. Some critics say the concept wouldn’t provide enough protection for workers’ benefits. It is uncertain whether the bill will pick up much support, as it does not yet have a sponsor in the Senate.

The Washington Post offers some personal profiles of how the Trump administration’s plans to cut the social safety net would affect American families. Many of those interviewed either supplement meager income with federal assistance or rely on such assistance because a disability rendered them unable to work.

The Onion offers an entirely accurate timeline of the U.S. labor movement.


Enjoy OnLabor’s fresh takes on the day’s labor news, right in your inbox.