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Why Uber Loves Obamacare, CA Agencies Target “Underground Economy”, Tech’s Disruption Of The Labor Market

Why Uber Loves Obamacare

As Obamacare’s second-ever enrollment period gets underway, the program has a big cheerleader in Silicon Valley: the chief executive of Uber, the ambitious ridesharing company that lets private car owners overnight become professional drivers.

Travis Kalanick, also a co-founder of Uber, said the health-care law has been “huge” for his business. By creating a functioning individual market for health insurance, people have more flexibility to pursue the jobs they want, Kalanick said.

“The democratization of those types of benefits allow people to have more flexible ways to make a living,” Kalanick during a Friday night dinner for reporters Buzzfeed. “They don’t have to be working for The Man.”

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Source: Washington Post

California Agencies Target “Underground Economy”

Aptos contractor Jeff Talmadge recalled the time he bid on a job for $250,000 while a competitor bid half that amount.

Later, he read that his competitor was cited for not paying workers’ compensation and paid a fine as a result.

The competitor is still in business, according to Talmadge. Talmadge is a member of the Santa Cruz Construction Guild, a network of local tradesmen that requires members who are contractors to be licensed and recommends scofflaws be reported.

Two years ago, the state Department of Industrial Relations was tasked with running the newly formed Labor Enforcement Task Force to combat “the underground economy” — businesses paying employees in cash, eliminating the expense of paying taxes and workers’ compensation insurance.

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Source: Insurance News Net

Tech’s Push To “Disrupt” Workers Is A Legal And Social Timebomb

Startups that push the limits of labor law are getting socked by lawsuits, and risk paying out big to employees and the IRS. These episodes are not just a threat to the business model of many tech ventures.

The labor flare-ups are also a stubborn reminder of a growing, and possibly permanent, servant class who are powering the tech industry’s dreams of disruption.

The contractors who clean toilets:
When two sisters sued maid-on-demand service Handy last month over alleged labor law violationsthe lawsuitfelt almost inevitable. Not only had Handy been filling Facebook feeds with ads to clean homes for the improbably low price of $29, the startup also adopted the bold legal stance that the workers who do the clearing are not employees but “independent contractors.”

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Source: GigaOm

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