Exclusive: How Slack’s Marriage to Salesforce CrumbledRead Now

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.)

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
Exclusive e-commerce
Walmart Plans to Offer Buy Now, Pay Later Loans Through its Fintech Venture
Photo by Bloomberg.
The ambitious fintech venture backed by Walmart is planning to launch buy now, pay later loans as soon as next year, three people familiar with the matter said. That could put the world’s largest retailer in competition with fintech lenders like Affirm and Klarna, as well as Apple, another consumer giant set to launch its own installment loans. Walmart has been pushing deeper into...
Latest Briefs
Airtable Lays Off 20%, Replaces Product and Sales Chiefs
Ex-Twitter Employees File Class Action Lawsuit Alleging Sex Discrimination
Meta Faces FTC In Court Over VR Acquisition
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Photo by Bloomberg
Exclusive microsoft
Microsoft Eyes ‘Super App’ to Break Apple and Google’s Hold on Mobile Search
Microsoft recently considered building a “super app” that could combine shopping, messaging, web search, news feeds and other services in a one-stop smartphone app, in what would be an ambitious move by the software giant to expand further into consumer services, according to people with direct knowledge of the discussions.
Illustration by Josh Brill.
Opinion economy
A Raise May Be Out of the Question, but You Do Have Other Options
Layoffs have swept through the tech industry (and more may be on the horizon ), flooding the job market with qualified candidates—just like you—as even the large companies are fighting to stay afloat.
The 1:1 policy
A Billionaire Couple Goes for Broke: How John and Laura Arnold Plan to Give It All Away
On Election Day, John and Laura Arnold found themselves deep in the lion’s den: a few blocks from the White House, working from the new Washington D.C.
Animation by Clark Miller
The Big Read
The Passion of Cathie Wood: Why the ‘Wackiest Portfolio Manager on Earth’ Isn’t Losing Faith
Cathie Wood was sitting in a phone booth in the New York office of Ark Invest when she heard Tasha Keeney, one of the firm’s analysts, let out a scream—“a happy scream,” Wood recalled.
Exclusive startups crypto
Crypto and AI-Focused Sequoia Partner Is Leaving the Firm
Sequoia Capital partner Divya Gupta is leaving the firm just weeks after the storied venture capital firm apologized to limited partners about its $214 million investment in the now-bankrupt crypto exchange FTX.
Org Charts google
Google’s Sundar Pichai Has More Direct Reports Than the CEOs of Meta, Amazon, Apple
Meta Platforms’ Mark Zuckerberg isn’t the only CEO spending more time overseeing the development of costly consumer devices.