The ranks of America's independent contractors, freelancers, and temporary workers have swelled over the past years. Many companies have eagerly switched to a contract-based workforce. After all, using independent contractors allows corporations to avoid many of the costs and risks of employment -- by shifting them onto the worker.
But, if today is the golden age of contract work, two recent developments signal that the era could be coming to an end -- or at least facing major new obstacles. The first, a decision by the National Labor Relations Board removes a significant protection provided employers using contract work. The second, the granting of class action status to thousands of Uber drivers, risks exposing corporations to significant, costly litigation for potentially misclassifying workers.