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The Future of the Gig Economy: How Assembly Bill 5 Will Affect Gig Work

The following is a sponsored article from our partner, Opolis

As companies like DoorDash, InstaCart, Lyft and Uber continue to make national headlines in their efforts to avoid having to classify their drivers as employees instead of independent contractors, states like California are weighing in. With the recent passing of Assembly Bill 5, which will take effect January 1, 2020, Californians will soon be considered employees of a business unless an employer can show an individual’s work meets a detailed set of criteria established last year by a California Supreme Court ruling. For delivery and rideshare services, this change could mean providing their drivers with health benefits, unemployment and disability insurance, worker’s compensation, sick leave and paid time off, Social Security and Medicare taxes, overtime, rest breaks and more. By some estimates, the Bill could take years before being fully implemented across industries, and in the meantime, tech conglomerates have already started work on filing petitions for exemption. So where does this leave our gig workers?

With 84% of millennials and 81% of Generation Z having said they’re already in or are considering joining the gig economy, it’s clear the future of work is changing. Gig work is becoming more the norm than the outlier, and while it’s helpful that U.S. bureaucratic systems are finally taking notice, until the rest of the country and ultimately the global workforce accept that benefits are a necessary piece of employment, there is Opolis

Opolis is creating an ecosystem for gig workers- freelancers, digital nomads, rideshare drivers and many other cohorts- where individuals can come together to access group health insurance and other benefits typically reserved for full-time corporate employees. Launching November 1, 2019 for 2020 Open Enrollment, Opolis will allow gig workers to join Guilds, or Decentralized Employment Organizations, where they can access network benefits including:

  • Crypto or State-based Currency Payroll
  • Financial Automation
  • Multiple Compensation Sources; Receive 1 Paycheck
  • Group Health Benefits
  • Health Savings Accounts (HSA/FSA)
  • Self-Directed Retirement with Cryptocurrency Investment Options
  • Life Insurance
  • Short & Long Term Disability Insurance
  • Workman’s Compensation Insurance
  • Unemployment Insurance
  • Paid Time Off Accrual
  • Automated Saving and Investing
  • Universal Basic Income Integration
  • And More…

Though California’s AB5 may be a step in the right direction for the gig economy, many companies and tech platforms are scrambling to fight back. Even workers who provide services on multiple platforms are confused as to who their employer will be. Opolis will provide gig workers sustainable access to benefits and services independently of company provisions as early as next month. This will ease the tension on these would be “employers” as Opolis allows workers to essentially employ themselves inside of a network cooperative. Furthermore, Opolis is a solution that allows workers to make decisions for themselves based on their values, goals and needs. 

To learn more about Opolis, download our Off-White Paper or join the conversation on Twitter

John Paller

John Paller is a technology entrepreneur with almost 20 years in the talent acquisition, HR & employment space. After almost two decades of building multiple successful enterprises, he founded Opolis, the next generation employment ecosystem for the self-sovereign worker. John serves as the Executive Steward for Opolis, where he provides vision, strategy and domain expertise to the project. He also leads fundraising, investor relations and community outreach & adoption for Opolis. John also founded and serves as Executive Steward for the ETHDenver Hackathon, which is the largest Web3 and Ethereum-based hackathon in the world. Over 3500 people have attended the event in 2018 & 2019 from over 40 US states and 30 international countries. In 2014, John was named as one of Denver’s “Forty Under 40” by the Denver Business Journal, which presents this award to those shaping the future of business.

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