Mass., California moving in different directions on gig worker issue

Jennifer Smith, CommonWealth Beacon

MASSACHUSETTS AND CALIFORNIA for now are on very different tracks when it comes to classifying gig workers as independent contractors or employees. Whether the question is tangled in west coast courts or marching up Beacon Hill, it’s not going away in either state any time soon.

For a time, it looked like Massachusetts and California were on the same path. Both have a specific test in state law to determine whether someone is an independent contractor and therefore exempted from an array of benefits and protections. Lawsuits in each state, arguing that treating rideshare and app-based delivery workers as independent contractors violated the law, prompted record-setting ballot campaigns to settle the question.