Gig work can be precarious, with workers’ earnings depending on the condition of their cars, enough customers hailing rides or ordering food, and whether companies are paying enough to make it worth their while. In some cases, though, drivers for app-based companies can lose their ability to work at all. Apps can “deactivate” them when customers complain, with little warning and no ability to find out why they were kicked off an app or do anything about it.
“The ratings system is very flawed,” said Lenny Sanchez, director of the Independent Drivers Guild Illinois chapter. “We get the rug pulled out from us instantaneously.” Sanchez told MarketWatch that Uber Technologies Inc.
once deactivated him after he wouldn’t let a rider drink alcohol in his car. The rider claimed that Sanchez was involved in a collision and sped away, but Sanchez was able to provide proof that there was nothing wrong with his car. While he was reinstated, he said he lost several days’ worth of work because of the false accusation. “I had a way to prove my innocence,” he said. “But sometimes, there is no way for drivers to prove their innocence.” Some states and cities — with input from gig workers — have acted to require protections for gig workers who face deactivation, with the latest move coming from Chicago. A proposed ordinance in that city would give tens of thousands of gig workers some protection against unfair deactivations, including the ability to appeal them. Don’t miss: How scammers target vul …