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Friday, November 17, 2017

JOTWELL: Malin on Lobel on REGULATING PLATFORMS

In my excitement around the publication of my new book this week, I am late to report the excellent second review on JOTWELL of my  my recent article, Orly Lobel, The Law of the Platform, 101 Minn. L. Rev. 87 (2016). The first review, by Margot Kaminski, took a Cyberlaw perspective and examined the potential, and regulatory implications, of platform to disrupt older business models by technological innovation and online services. In a previous Prawfspost I highlighted some of Kaminski's excellent points about the risks of lighter regulation for newer digital platforms, and in particular the risks exacerbating power disparities through data collection and private digital governance.

I was incredibly honored and delighted when Martin Malin wrote a Jotwell review of the The Law of the Platform in the Worklaw section, entitled A Framework for Thinking About Regulating Platforms. Malin has long been a leading scholar in the fields of employment and labor law and I have learned so much from his work. Malin writes about my article, "The article is much broader than the work law implications of the platform economy, but it is extremely useful for scholars and policymakers facing work law issues." As he suggests, "much ink has been spilled over whether platform workers — be they Uber drivers, Task Rabbit taskers, or others — are employees or independent contractors, and litigation over alleged misclassification of platform workers is ongoing. Likewise, there is robust debate over whether the rise of such platforms benefits workers by expanding their earning capacity and flexibility, or simply serves to increase income insecurity and income inequality." I think Malin and I both agree that the on-off categories of employee/independent contractor are problematic in today's work realities. I expand on the analysis of employment law, including the classification issue of drivers and other workers on the platform, in a talk I delivered when I was honored to give the 12th Annual Pemberton Lecture at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last year. The lecture is now published as an article named The Gig Economy and the Future of Employment and Labor Law. I am encouraged that prominent scholars like Malin and many other of my colleagues are currently doing excellent work in this field of work and the gig, including digital gig, economy and I look forward to continuing the discussions.  

Posted by Orly Lobel on November 17, 2017 at 11:33 AM | Permalink

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