Ongoing debate over how Uber, Lyft drivers should be classified

Letter to the Editor, Boston Globe

Gig economy work is fundamentally different from traditional employment

In their op-ed attacking rideshare companies, “Uber, Lyft drivers deserve better protections” (May 2), Mark Erlich and Rand Wilson claim that “drivers function in every respect as employees and should have the protections associated with that status along with the options of flexibility.”

This questionable argument has been made many times before. However, drivers do not function “in every respect” as employees. At all times, drivers decide when, where, and for how long they wish to work, and they don’t need approval to not show up to work. They may work for competitors and may drive in Boston, Pittsfield, or anywhere in between. Indeed, the majority of drivers work part time, earning some extra money when it is convenient for their schedules.