Gig economy company Shyp announced in a blog post July 1 it will categorize its couriers as employees instead of independent contractors. It follows a similar move by Instacart, a fellow gig economy firm.
Shyp provides courier services, and the move applies to the company’s couriers. Satellite van drivers and warehouse workers at Shyp have always been classified as W-2 employees, the company said in the blog.
“This is an operational decision based on our interest in owning the entire, end-to-end Shyp experience; it is not in response to recent lawsuits against other technology companies,” according to the blog post. “We’re doing this because we want to make the Shyp experience as good as it can be, for our customers and workforce alike.”
Shyp’s move comes after an announcement by gig economy firm Instacart that it would transition some of its workers to employees instead of independent contractors.
Several gig economy firms that allow workers to use mobile apps to order services face lawsuits over their treatment of workers as independent contractors. Notable cases include Uber and Lyft.
However, another firm, Washio, was also sued June 29 in San Francisco Superior Court for misclassifying its drivers, which it call “ninjas,” as independent contractors.
Washio is a Santa Monica, Calif.-based company that connects consumers with dry cleaning and wash-and-fold delivery services through a mobile phone app. The named plaintiff in the Washio lawsuit is Barry Taranto. The complaint in the lawsuit says Washio ninjas must follow several requirements such as how they store clothes in their vehicles, timeliness in picking up and dropping off clothing, and how they interact with customers.
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