sharing economy

The Gig Economy Appears to Be Growing– Here’s Why

With the rise of Uber, Airbnb, and TaskRabbit, there’s a sinking suspicion that the traditional 9-5 job is being replaced by flexible, independent contract work. But, despite the existence of multiple billion-dollar Silicon Valley startups hiring an army of independent contract workers, economists have had difficulty finding any evidence that Americans were more likely to be self-employed.

REUTERS/ROBERT GALBRAITH

Bike Share Comes to Southern California

The sharing economy that has revolutionized crowd-sourced taxi services and overnight room stays is launching Los Angeles County’s first “bike share” in the People’s Republic of Santa Monica.

Breeze Bike Share Santa Monica (Facebook)

Protesters Storm Airbnb HQ Before Proposition F Vote

Protestors stormed the headquarters of multibillion dollar lodging startup Airbnb on Monday in San Francisco, one day before Bay Area residents cast their votes either in favor of or against Proposition F–the “Airbnb initiative,” a measure that seeks to regulate short-terms rentals in the city.

Airbnb protest (via Geoffrey Nguyen / Twitter)

Uber Now Faces California Class Action Lawsuit

U.S. District Judge Edward Chen, a Barack Obama appointee, granted class action status to a lawsuit claiming Uber Technologies Inc. illegally classifies its on-call drivers as independent contractors, rather than employees with rights and benefits.

Uber (Reuters)

Uber Faces Doom as CA Judge Recommends Suspension

California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Chief Administrative Law Judge Robert Mason recommended that ride-sharing service Uber be suspended from operating in California for 30 days and fined $7.3 million for wilfully violating its 2013 CPUC settlement by failing to provide data proving that Uber and its California drivers do not discriminate on the basis of ethnicity, neighborhood or medical disability in picking up passengers.

The Associated Press

Uber May Owe Billions, as Cal Labor Board Says Drivers Are Employees

In what may the most expensive employee labor claim in history, the California Labor Commission ruled Wednesday that an Uber California drivers is an “employee,” rather than an “independent contractor.” Uber could potentially be on the hook to pay about $200 million in employee taxes and benefits for 2014 alone.

Photo illustration of logo of car-sharing service app Uber on a smartphone over a reserved lane for taxis in a street in Madrid

Airbnb Calls SF Led Union Ballot Measure a ‘Trojan Horse’

In response to San Francisco’s new vacation-rental law to allow unlimited short-term rentals when a host is present, a powerful group of unions, landlords, housing activists and traditional hotels are preparing a November ballot initiative to severely constrict Airbnb and other “sharing economy” companies’ ability to help individuals secure short–term rentals from part or all of their homes or apartments.

Airbnb Pride (Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr / CC)