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Maintaining worker safety in a changing job market

Many North Carolina workers have experienced the changes that have taken place in the job market over the past few years. Due to the rise of rideshare apps and other freelance-based businesses, an increasing number of individuals are joining the gig economy. The term "gig economy" is a catchall term used to describe getting paid by the job rather than through an hourly wage or yearly salary.

The internet is were many people are finding their gig jobs. Others have found freelance jobs in the transportation industry or working as bike couriers. For some, their gigs have morphed into full-time employment. For others, the gigs serve as a way to supplement what they earn at their primary jobs. Recently, more attention has been paid to the health and safety concerns that are unique to gig workers.

Since gig workers are deemed independent contractors, they are not always afforded the same protection under workers' compensation that they would get if they were classified as employees. Therefore, companies that hire independent contractors may feel that they have no financial responsibility toward reimbursing workers hurt on the job. This has led many to reevaluate how gig jobs should be classified and what, if any, changes should be made to improve worker safety.

If a gig worker is hurt on the job, they may want to obtain legal representation. An attorney could do research and find out if an independent contractor should really be classified as an employee and be eligible for workers' compensation. In some cases, the lawyer may suggest civil litigation to hold the company liable.

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