Thanks to a recent agreement between the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), more American workers will have better protection in a gig economy.
Key areas concerning modern-day employees include employer-driven debt and employer surveillance. Without the intervention, employees are liable to experience violations of their rights.
For many workers, getting a job often means taking on unexpected debt. This is often due to an employer mandating specific training or requiring specific equipment that the company does not provide to gig workers. In some cases, the employers require the employees to purchase items directly from the company at costs much higher than market alternatives. If an employee owes the company a debt, it keeps the employee from wage mobility as they must stay until they finish paying it off. These anti-competitive financial practices companies will use to trap workers for the sole benefit of the business.
Additionally, employers that utilize productivity tools threaten employee privacy. Many employers rely on software to track worker productivity, and companies have the ability to continue tracking employees beyond business hours. If a company owns the surveillance data, it can turn and sell this information to other employers, insurers or financial institutions. This is a violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
With the agreement between the CFPB and NLRB, the agencies will move information back and forth to protect workers from illegal labor practices. Through this collaboration, the organizations will look for violations under the National Labor Relations Act and federal consumer financial protection laws.