“Is this worker an employee, or just a contractor?”

It’s a seemingly simple question, but it has stark ramifications under American labor law — and some claim that the so-called gig economy is making it harder to answer in many cases. Many on the left are pushing to classify more workers as employees, but the better solution is to create a new, more flexible category.

Last year, the California supreme court made headlines by changing the test that determines workers’ categories under state law. With the stroke of a pen, the court overturned decades of labor law by announcing that workers would be presumed to be employees unless a firm could prove that the worker: A) was outside the firm’s control while performing his job; B) was performing a task outside the firm’s normal scope of business; and C) had made a definitive decision to go into business for himself.

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