The Department of Labor on Tuesday proposed a rule that would classify more gig workers as employees, not independent contractors.
The rule offers hope for labor activists seeking employee status, and would be a blow to the gig-work model companies such as Uber and Lyft have relied on.
"The Department believes this proposal will help protect workers from misclassification while at the same time recognizing that independent contractors serve an important role in our economy and providing a consistent approach for those businesses that engage (or wish to engage) independent contractors," the document reads.
Under most federal and state labor laws, a company only has to provide benefits, like a minimum wage and medical leave, to their employees, and not their contractors.
"While independent contractors have an important role in our economy, we have seen in many cases that employers mis-classify their employees as independent contractors, particularly among our nation's most vulnerable workers,"
Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh said in a press release.