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Uber in Washington, D.C. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/ ALM

Seattle billed itself as a laboratory for the gig economy with a plan that would allow ride-hailing drivers who work for companies such as Uber and Lyft to unionize. That bold effort is set to be scrutinized Monday in a federal appeals court.

The city’s ordinance—the first such measure in the country—faced backlash from business advocates and was blocked by a federal judge last year. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s lawsuit will go before a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The hearing is unrelated to the trial unfolding in San Francisco where Uber’s accused of stealing trade secrets from rival Waymo.

The outcome could have sweeping consequences for local governments and companies grappling with the growing sector. The federal government, several states and a host of advocates on both sides offered their perspective for how to harmonize modern technology and labor laws. The ordinance is considered a test for how far traditional protections should extend to the so-called gig economy. Here’s a snapshot of some of the big issues—and key players.

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