Today’s News & Commentary — October 13, 2017

Published October 13th, 2017 -  - 10.13.173


In New York City, more people are taking Uber than traditional yellow cabs, the New York Times reports.  Uber’s growth has been fueled by new riders in the outer boroughs; a similar trend–new customers outside the city center–is also taking hold in other cities.

Meanwhile, the UK, whose capital city recently declined to renew Uber’s license, is considering new protections for gig workers.  At a parliamentary hearing this week, an Uber representative told policymakers that making the company classify its workers as employees would spur changes to the company’s labor model and would significantly raise its costs.  Also earlier this week, a detailed Bloomberg story outlined the five ongoing criminal investigations against Uber, including two investigations that had previously been unreported.  Based on interviews with current and former employees, Bloomberg describes Uber’s legal culture–its legal department’s “mandate” was to “test” the boundaries of the law–and the controversial “arsenal” of programs for which the company is under investigation.

A New York Times analysis talks to experts and examines past NLRB actions relevant to whether the NFL players’ protests are concerted activity protected under federal labor law.  Read more about the question from Benjamin Sachs on this blog here.

Finally, California Governor Jerry Brown signed several worker-related measures yesterday, including a law requiring smaller employers to provide 12 weeks of parental leave and a ban on employers’ asking for the salary history of prospective workers, a move designed to help improve the gender pay gap.

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