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SAN FRANCISCO—Next month, a federal judge is set to answer a basic question at trial: should a “gig economy” worker be properly classified as an employee? If so, should his work-related expenses be reimbursed, such as mileage?
“This is the first case in California as to how the gig economy works,” US Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Corley said during the Thursday hearing, likely the last hearing before the September 5 bench trial, which is expected to last about a week. Most of the hearing was taken up establishing procedural ground rules and wrapping up loose threads about witness availability, among other items.
This lawsuit just might provide an answer.
If Grubhub must treat its drivers as employees, the employees would be entitled to all kinds of benefits, including unemployment, insurance, and reimbursement for various expenses, like gas and employee phone bills.
In short, treating workers as employees could cost companies like Grubhub millions of dollars.
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