Andreessen Horowitz Merges Fintech and Consumer Teams After Some Bets FizzleRead more

Pay Transparency for Gig Workers? Yes, It’s Possible.

By  |  Dec. 1, 2021 9:03 AM PST

After years of enduring frustrating working conditions and unreliable pay, burned-out drivers fled Uber and Lyft during the global pandemic. It’s been a hard sell getting them back. In April, Uber committed $250 million to the cause, and last month, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told investors the push was working. Driver totals were up 65% from January, he said on the third-quarter earnings call, which meant less-frequent surge pricing and shorter wait times for customers and signaled a “strong endorsement of Uber’s value and the value of independent, flexible work.”

What is the value of that flexibility, exactly? Perhaps not as high as advertised. A few weeks before Uber’s earnings call, in late October, the Federal Trade Commission put more than 1,100 businesses on notice that they could face large civil penalties for making misleading promises on potential earnings, specifically calling out “ubiquitous ‘gigs’ that pitch a steady second income.” Recipients of the warning included gig economy heavyweights Lyft, DoorDash, Instacart and, of course, Uber. (The FTC also emphasized that receiving the notice did not indicate a company had done anything wrong.)

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