The Wall Street Journal just published an article about the Labor Department’s recent declaration that “Workers lining up jobs through smartphone apps and websites such as Handy and Angie’s List are independent contractors and not employees of those platforms.” While this judgment appears to focus on gig work platforms, it’s also a very important (and broader) distinction made by the US Labor Department. In essence, it could be seen as protecting, for example, the technologies and platforms that enable the employer and the candidate to meet, greet, be wooed and be joined (matching point solutions, enterprise apps, gig work, etc.).
But it doesn’t totally limit their liability.
If it were found that the use of the technology or platform consistently led to abuses (intentional or not) such as, for example, systematically excluding a qualified protected class of candidate from fairly being aware of or considered for positions/gigs, etc., then that tech ‘provider’ might bear some responsibility.
I’ve had several startups recently argue they have no responsibility to monitor their offerings for how they are used in our society…or any other. I suggest that they open their eyes wider. And I’m talking to you Craigslist and FaceBook.
(Thanks to Martin Burns of Hireclix for pointing out this article. )