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What Are the Dangers of The New Gig Economy?

Joanow Legal Group Aug. 7, 2019

You may or may not know that there is a growing pool of workers who belong to something called the gig economy in Pennsylvania. These workers are freelancers who work on contract and are not employed by a specific company. This movement enables workers to earn more and have more freedom when it comes to their employment. However, there are downsides to the gig economy as well.

According to Literary Hub, working as an independent contractor means you have no workers’ compensation coverage. As an independent contractor, you are your own boss, so workers’ compensation laws saying employers must carry the insurance do not apply to the companies you contract with as they are not your employer.

If you get injured on the job, the liability falls on you. You have to pay for your medical care. You have to figure out how to compensate for lost wages. There is nothing to fall back on. This can be a huge issue if your gig work is in a field that could pose physical danger.

Furthermore, beyond not having workers’ compensation coverage, you also do not have job security beyond your contract. You constantly have to work to find new gigs so you can pay the bills. If you end up between jobs, you cannot get unemployment benefits either. All of the typical benefits you get as an employee are simply not there.

It is up to you to have insurance in place to handle all the unexpected things that could happen. This can get costly. You not only need to have insurance in place for situations where you cannot work or where you are between jobs, but you also need health insurance, which without an employer plan is rather expensive. So, before you enter the gig economy, make sure you are ready for all aspects of this field. This information is for education and is not legal advice.