The Federal Trade Commission It outlined a new plan to hold business firms accountable for benefiting their employees.
in 17-page policy statement On Thursday, the Federal Trade Commission highlighted several challenges facing temporary job workers, including deception about wages and hours, unfair contract terms, anti-competitive wage setting and coordination between temporary service firms.
“No matter how gig companies choose to classify, temporary job workers are consumers entitled to protection under the laws we enforce,” Samuel Levine, director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Office of Consumer Protection, said in a statement. “We are fully committed to coordinating consumer protection and competition enforcement efforts within the Federal Trade Commission as well as working with other agencies across the government to ensure temporary job workers are treated fairly.”
The Flex Association, a trade group representing Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Instacart, Grubhub, Gopuff, HopSkipDrive and Shipt, was present during Thursday’s 3-2 FTC vote to adopt the policy statement. The FOX Business trade group said it would welcome an “open dialogue” with the FTC to share ideas on ways its members can support app-based income earners and their communities.
“During yesterday’s meeting, we heard from workers and advocacy groups confirming how app-based work provides the flexibility and independence that allows millions of people to earn additional income on their terms,” Flex CEO Kristen Sharp told FOX Business in a statement. “What is missing from the FTC’s policy statement is the perspective of those workers the agency seeks to protect.”
Quoting statistics from Federal Reserve And the agency’s Service of Colored Communities report, the policy statement notes that 16% of Americans make money through an online gig platform and that 30% of Latino adults, 20% of black adults, and 19% of Asian adults have participated in the gig business. compared to 12% of white adults.
a Study 2019 by MasterCard It previously predicted that the gig economy would generate $455 billion in annual sales by 2023.
In order to hold companies on the job accountable, the agency says it will scrutinize potentially unfair terms imposed on temporary job workers, including non-competition clauses, liquidated damages clauses and non-disclosure agreements.
You will also investigate evidence of agreements between gig companies to fix wages, benefits, fees, or other terms relating to gig business that must be subject to competition, as well as evidence of non-poaching agreements and agreements that competitively share sensitive information and that may void workers’ compensation.
In addition, the consumer watchdog will review and challenge, as appropriate Mergers and other combinations dominant firms that may significantly reduce competition between or among themselves and investigate any exclusionary or predatory behavior by dominant firms that may illegally create or maintain a monopoly or monopoly resulting in low compensation or poor working conditions for workers in temporary jobs. Buying monopoly is the dominant buyer or business owner.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has already initiated rule-making procedures to enhance its ability to detect and deter deceptive earnings claims and has requested comment on the spread of deceptive earning claims related to the gig business.
Last year, it also notified more than 1,100 companies that they could incur significant civil penalties – Up to $43,792 per violation If they or their representatives file claims to lure participants into unfair or fraudulent money-making opportunities that violate the FTC Act.
In addition to enforcing existing consumer and competition laws, the FTC says it is addressing problems in the temporary job economy by collaborating with agencies such as Ministry of Justice and the National Labor Relations Board.
The agency also focuses resources to assist Bureau of Consumer Protection staff in assessing whether certain communities are disproportionately affected or targeted by unfair or deceptive practices, including in the temporary job economy, and seeks input from consumers, business groups, industry, and experts on challenges that Facing gig workers through monthly open committee meetings and targeted workshops.
Although the policy statement did not call for any stand-alone businesses, it did note that they touch “nearly every aspect of American life, from food delivery to transportation to home services.”
Companies that have contributed to the growth of the gig economy include Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, GrubHub and Instacart.
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