The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced “ strong measures ” against companies that “take advantage” of workers in the collaborative economy, such as digital platforms. Through these guidelines, presented as a new protection policy, the protection of employees of this type will be increased to avoid unfair, deceptive and anti-competitive practices.

16 percent of Americans earn money through jobs of this type and more than half of them indicate that the amount they earn from these activities is essential to meet their basic needs , according to an official report.

“No matter how companies choose to classify them, gig workers are entitled to protection under the laws we enforce,” said FTC Office of Protection Director Samuel Levine. “Technological advances and new business models are not a license to commit deceptive practices ,” added the director of the entity’s Office of Policy Planning, Elizabeth Wilkins.

The declaration, which includes a cooperation agreement with other government entities, indicates that there are multiple areas in which there is potential for harming such workers: misrepresentations about the nature of contract work, diminished bargaining power and concentration that harm wages and quality of work, among other points.

“The rapid growth of the sharing economy is made possible by the contributions of drivers, shoppers, cleaners, caretakers, designers, freelancers and other workers. Protecting these workers from unfair, deceptive and anti-competitive practices is a priority, and the Commission will use all of its authority to do so.”

In November of last year, the FTC sent checks and payments totaling $60 million to eligible drivers whose tips were “illegally withheld by Amazon . ” It is that, at that time, the investigation carried out by the entity determined that the company illegally pocketed a “large percentage” of the tips given by Amazon Prime Now and Amazon Fresh customers from the end of 2016 to August 2019.

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