Tiziano Treu

Remedies and legal categories: how to deal with work in the gig economy

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Gig Economy Jobs; Remedies; Legal Categories; Common Law and Civil Law Systems; Employment and Self-Employment; Legal Classification of Work Relations.

The paper analyses American case law concerning the status of workers for platform economy firms such as Uber, Lyft, etc. It shows that these workers do not fall neatly into either the «employee» or the «independent contractor» category under existing judicial tests. The common law remedial approach, differently from that prevailing in continental Europe, is not focused mainly on classifying workers within legal categories strictly defined, but on identifying the remedies which are most effective to protect the interests and rights at stake. These remedies do not include necessarily all those usually granted to subordinate employees. US case law usually recognizes to platform based workers the right to minimum wages, reimbursement of expenses, working time regulations, collective rights. In Italy like in the USA the traditional indicators of subordination and independence have not proved satisfactory to classify these new workers. The legislator faced with new types of work, has differentiated their legal treatments with mixed traits even beyond the traditional categories of subordinate and independent employment. The paper argues that the remedial approach adopted by common law may be interesting also for the Italian judges and lawmakers because it allows to identify, better than the traditional categorial approach, the set of protections and rights applicable to these workers.

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