A large minority of Pennsylvanians regularly complete side jobs by participating in the gig economy. This term refers to a broad range of work that people can do by logging into computer apps such as ride-share services and others.
According to a 2016 study that was completed by Pew Research, 8 percent of Americans reported that they earned some income in 2015 from completing jobs online. Of those people, 29 percent reported that they depended on the income that they received in order to pay their bills. Experts say that people who perform gig work should be divided into two categories, including those who perform the work in order to supplement their incomes from full-time jobs and those who perform the work as their sole incomes.
According to safety experts, most workers who perform gig work are classified as independent contractors. This is problematic because they are not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if they are injured while they are working. Some employers may misclassify workers as independent contractors when they should be considered to be statutory employees. Workers who are misclassified may be able to recover workers’ compensation benefits if they are injured while working.
It is important for people who choose to do gig work to understand that they might be unable to recover benefits if they are injured while they are on the job. Workplace safety laws are in place for employers in order to help to prevent workplace injuries. People who are injured while they are performing gig work might want to consult with experienced personal injury attorneys. The lawyers might be able to prove that their clients were misclassified so that they might be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. If the workers are unable to recover benefits, the lawyers may identify negligent parties that may be liable to pay damages.