I disagree with Wendy Lazar’s article, “The Gig Economy: A Threat to Basic Employment Rights” (NYLJ, May 2).
The use of a single example to support the argument that the gig economy is bad for workers absent new or expanded statutory protections overlooks the fundamental fact that it is the workers themselves driving this new business model.
To that point, the article blurs the line between individuals who choose to work “independently” for others (such as Lyft drivers), and those who prefer to work, with little or no overhead, providing their own individualized services to larger businesses. Examples might be web designers, code writers, contractors, or anyone else who wants to create their own work environment and lifestyle.
The millennials described in the article as victims are the very ones rejecting the current model as they chart their own paths. Businesses seem to like the concept as the gig economy is thriving. Indeed, the current model is not all that good or effective. There is an entire generation telling us that. For all that labor unions “protect” employees, their membership numbers are dropping. Despite ample laws already in place, the gender pay gap still exists, and discrimination and wage and hour claims continue to grow.
Rather than focusing on further regulating employers through new legislation, maybe we should listen to our children and let them shape and define their futures.
The writer is a founding partner of Tarter Krinsky & Drogin