The Worker Flexibility and Choice Act:
Choice of what?
For example, one Chick-fil-a in Hendersonville, North Carolina asked “volunteers” to work the restaurant at a rate of “five entrees per hour worked”. A nationally recognized fast food chain is relying on bartering to carry out the basic functions of their business - that is, Hendersonville Chik-fil-a is relying on hungry and desperate workers to trade their time and labor for chicken sandwiches.
Typically workers are paid in money.
The legislation leaves the door open for an environment of exploitation and distrust at every level of on-demand organizations and beyond. How can you as a business owner rely on and empower workers whose daily wages are chicken sandwiches and fries? What obligations do workers owe to their employers? How can you reliably grow when you can’t rely on your employees? When your employees can’t rely on you for even the most basic support?
How are employees going to pay their rent in chicken sandwiches?
How can you improve your business if employees are being paid in sandwiches, ready to be fired at a moment’s notice? Do we want to live in a world where the gig-economy, one of the fastest growing US industries, relies on exploitation and desperation as the primary incentives in employment?
The Worker Flexibility and Choice Act is a troubling sign for workers’ rights, and could spell disaster for vulnerable gig-economy workers and companies alike. We’ve seen time and again that US industry can only survive through a mutually beneficial agreement - that employers and employees can work together towards a common goal with a common benefit.
That, at the very least, employers and employees can agree that a day's work is worth more than a few sandwiches and a medium Sprite.