In the gig work economy, who holds responsibility for how candidates and employers connect?

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.

[Read the WSJ article here]

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. )

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Gerry Crispin

Gerry co-authored eight books on the evolution of staffing and has written 100s of articles and whitepapers on similar topics during a career in Human Resources that spans more than 40 years from HR leadership positions at Johnson and Johnson; to boutique Executive Search firms; a Career Services Director at the University where he received his Engineering and 2 advanced degrees in Organizational/Industrial Behavior; and, GM of a major recruitment advertising firm even as he launched CareerXroads 25 years ago.

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