Employees or contractors? On-demand start-ups still struggle to define their workers
SAN JOSE, Calif. – They have piled up billions of dollars and disrupted major industries, but the Bay Area's on-demand start-ups have yet to answer one important question — do they have employees?
Uber, Lyft and many others in the multibillion dollar industry insist they don't, but some on-demand start-ups are beginning to ask themselves if the old employee model might work best in the long run. Instacart, Shyp, Sprig, Luxe and Honor are among the companies that recently reclassified their independent contractor workers as employees.
"We wanted them to feel the emotional connection to the organization that all the other employees did," said Johnny Brackett, a spokesman for on-demand shipping service Shyp, which made its couriers employees last year. "Part of that was putting them through orientation, which you can't do with contractors."