In June, we noted that regulatory and legal actions related to the question of whether-or-not on-demand economy workers are independent contractors or employees are creating bumps in the road to success for many companies, including the the on-demand economy archtype, Uber. In August, we followed-up with a related story after the Wall Street Journal reported that such lawsuits may be creating a drag on the ability of on-demand economy startups to raise venture funding.


As we’ve reported, Amazon is aggressively expanding its involvement in the on-demand economy through such efforts as Amazon Home Services. One of those services, Amazon Prime Now, uses the on-demand model to provide same-day delivery of certain Amazon products. Amazon Prime Now is facing the same types of legal challenges that other on-demand model companies have faced.

According to IT World, Amazon.com is being sued in California courts by former Amazon Prime Now delivery drivers in a proposed class-action suit that alleges that the company misclassifies its workers as contractors rather than as employees with full benefits.

According to the complaint, the plantiffs claim Amazon.com’s relationship with the drivers fit “the hallmarks that would classify them as employees” in many ways, including:

  • The former drivers reported to and work exclusively out of an Amazon warehouse
  • They were scheduled to work fixed shifts during Amazon Prime Now service hours
  • They were required to wear shirts and hats bearing the Amazon Prime Now logo
  • They were supplied with a smartphone preloaded with the app

According to IT World, Amazon Prime Now drivers in the Los Angeles are paid $11 per hour but are required to make deliveries in their own vehicles, covering employment-related expenses such as fuel, insurance and maintenance costs out of their own pockets

Amazon.com video promoting Amazon Prime Now


Photo: Amazon.com

 

12
Amazon Moving Ahead of Google in Home Delivery Race, What That Means for Small Business

Amazon Prime Now is in 20 markets compared to Google Express’ seven.

13
On-demand Economy Participants Typically Work 12 Hours a Week to Augment Household Income

Augmenting their household income is the primary reason independent workers participate in the on-demand economy.

14
New Small Businesses Are Emerging From the On-demand Economy

The on-demand business model is growing the segment of small business called “sole proprietors” or “single employee” businesses

15
The Five Faces of the On-Demand Workforce

Participants in the on-demand economy fall into different groups, different motivations and different levels of satisfaction.

16
Small Businesses Using On-Demand Economy to Access Tech Talent Pool

Because of the wave of on-demand economy companies, even the smallest of small businesses can use an app to connect with independent tech workers.

17
Yelp Joins Google, Amazon and a Slew of Startups in Home Services On-Demand Marketplace

Yelp adds Request a Quote feature to participating service providers.

18
Uber Settlement Defines Drivers as Independent Small Businesses, Not Employees

Uber has agreed to a class-action lawsuit settlement with drivers in California and Massachusetts

19
Shopify’s Ecommerce Merchants Can Now Offer Local, Same-Day Delivery in 200+ U.S. Locations

Ecommerce software provider Shopify is teaming up with on-demand same-day delivery service Postmates.

20
Uber Didn’t Create the On-Demand Economy, The On-Demand Economy Created Uber

Uber exists because of the growing need for highly flexible part-time work to supplement incomes.

21
Voters’ Decision Keeps Austin Too Weird For Uber, Lyft

Uber and Lyft, the ride-sharing, on-demand economy companies, lost a key vote by focusing on the wrong messages.

22
Employers Prefer Full Time Workers, But Agree That On-Demand Economy is Here to Stay | 2016

Employers have a love-hate relationship with the on-demand economy.

23
The On-Demand Economy Workforce Continues to Expand | 2017

Two-thirds of on-demand economy participants say they are satisfied with their work

24
HomeAdvisor Buys Angie’s List to Grow its Home Services On-Demand Marketplace

To compete with the giants creating new, on-demand home services marketplaces, HomeAdvisor acquires Angie’s List.

25
Gallup: Most Employees Who Work Varying Hours Like Their Schedules | 2017

According to Gallup, the majority of employees who work variable hours each week report no problems or financial hardship with the variable hours.

26
Two Small Business Trends That Contributed to Ikea’s Decision to Buy TaskRabbit | 2017

Are the acquisitions of TaskRabbit and Angie’s List pointing to the consolidation of the gig economy?