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I am forced to treat the people who cut my lawn and clean my house as employees, according to tax law, for funding unemployment insurance among other things.

But Uber's labor force, without which literally the company wouldn't exist, are not eligible for the same benefits. The logical next step is that the company has no liability for anything that happens to you in one of their cars.




You treat your lawn care person and maid as employees? I guess if they are full time. My lawn care is completely contractor based- they provide tools, they set schedule, they don’t have a uniform set by me. They are exactly contractors. Same with my maid.

If I for some reason had an estate that required employee Lawncare this would be different and I would hire someone.

There’s a definition from the IRS in the US for employee and contractor that’s not exactly black and white but has many tests for who is an employee vs contractor.


Many people do not follow this, but

https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employe...

> You have a household employee if you hired someone to do household work and that worker is your employee. The worker is your employee if you can control not only what work is done, but how it is done. If the worker is your employee, it does not matter whether the work is full time or part time or that you hired the worker through an agency or from a list provided by an agency or association. It also does not matter whether you pay the worker on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis, or by the job.

> Household work is work done in or around your home by the following people.

> Babysitters Caretakers Cleaning people Domestic workers Drivers Health aides Housekeepers Maids Nannies Private nurses Yard workers


From that link:

> You made an agreement with John Peters to care for your lawn. John runs a lawn care business and offers his services to the general public. He provides his own tools and supplies, and he hires and pays any helpers he needs. Neither John nor his helpers are your household employees.

In this comparison, a driver partner offers their services to multiple marketplaces, provides his own supplies, etc.


But the way I read this is that the helpers would have to be employed by John. So I don't understand where is the contractor loophole.


I don't think most people understand this principle. The deal you strike means nothing, There are laws that dictate who is an employee

"Household work is work done in or around your home by the following people.

Babysitters Caretakers Cleaning people Domestic workers Drivers Health aides Housekeepers Maids Nannies Private nurses Yard workers"


> The worker is your employee if you can control not only what work is done, but how it is done.

It's not just that they're doing household work, but also that they're doing it in a manner you direct. An Uber driver isn't getting me from point A to B in a manner Uber directs, or at least not always - otherwise I wouldn't see nearly as many drivers using Google Maps/Waze instead of Uber's navigation.


> The worker is your employee if you can control not only what work is done, but how it is done.

What does 'how it is done' mean?

If I ask a gardener to prune a bush he's a contractor, but if I have a conversation with him about how I want him to prune it is he then suddenly an employee?

Seems like it's very easy to accidentally make someone an employee by requesting they do something in a particular way.


It is hard to navigate and there’s lawyers and accountants who make a lot of money figuring that out.

I interpret it as directing work as a supervisor would exert “behavioral control.” For employees you control behavior. For contractors you control outcomes.

So if you give a step by step plan on how to prune to your gardener and require it precisely, that’s probably a contractor. If you require that he prune the bushes and don’t care how it’s done, then that’s likely a contractor.

I used work with programmers quite a bit. There are a few tests where you shouldn’t provide exact tools, set break times, set specific hours, exclusivity of work, require methods of pay for contractors as that is only possible with employees.


> I am forced to treat the people who cut my lawn and clean my house as employees, according to tax law, for funding unemployment insurance among other things.

It's the other way around: The people who cut your lawn force you to treat them as employees. What stops you from hiring a "proper" contractor?

> But Uber's labor force, without which literally the company wouldn't exist, are not eligible for the same benefits.

Yes, because they are contractors. They set their own hours and choose whether to show up or not. They don't have any of the duties that an employee has. Therefore, they don't have any of the rights either.

> The logical next step is that the company has no liability for anything that happens to you in one of their cars.

It's not their car. Uber is a middleman. That's what people don't understand. Their "added value" is to bring together service providers and service users. They don't provide insurance or anything.


They do provide insurance:

https://www.uber.com/drive/insurance/


That's news to me, I stand corrected.




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