Regulating Employment Relationships in the Sharing Economy

Abstract

Deepa Das Acevedo

Sharing economy companies like Uber and Airbnb have come under fire for evading regulatory schemes and inadequately safeguarding consumer welfare-but consumers aren't the only ones affected by the companies' innovative business models. This article focuses on "suppliers": the drivers, homeowners, cooks, and other individuals who actually provide the services offered by sharing economy companies. The relationship between suppliers and their companies is an entirely new kind of employment that both displays unprecedented potential and creates unique problems. Existing employment law categories simply don't capture supplier concerns or respect the singularity of the sharing economy. This article argues that employment relationships in the sharing economy demand targeted regulatory response and identifies the concerns that such a response must address.