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FTC really wants to protect gig workers from ‘unfair or deceptive’ algorithms

The Federal Trade Commission is making its bid to protect gig workers against exploitation. The regulator has adopted an insurance plan statement detailing how it’ll tackle gig workers’ problems. The FTC plans to part of whenever there are misrepresentations about pay, costs, benefits and work terms. Officials also be prepared to intervene with “unfair or deceptive” algorithms, harsh contracts and anti-competitive behavior such as for example wage fixing and monopoly-creating mergers.

The Commission said the classification of workers wouldn’t affect enforcement, so companies can’t avoid repercussions by classifying people as contractors rather than employees. Violators may need to pay fines and change their practices, and the FTC could partner with other specialists (like the Justice Department and National Labor Relations Board) to handle issues.

You can find gaps. It may be problematic for the FTC to prove algorithm-driven abuse, for example, and it’s not yet determined which non-contractual “restraints” might hurt workers’ freedom of movement. However, this may still serve as a warning to gig companies that may hide steep operating costs, fight unionization efforts or collude with rivals to help keep wages low.

The FTC isn’t alone in hoping to boost the large amount of gig workers. A bipartisan measure in Congress, introduced to the home and Senate this February, is intended to supply portable advantages to gig workers. This past year, the Labor Department revoked a rule that managed to get harder to safeguard those workers’ labor rights. States and cities also have filed lawsuits and otherwise taken efforts to bolster working conditions. However, the FTC’s policy has an extra, nationwide safeguard that may further discourage attempts to exploit the gig economy.

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