A driver for Google’s local delivery service is suing the company over her status as an independent contractor, bringing the tech giant into a contentious national debate over labor in the on-demand economy.
The proposed class action lawsuit was filed by driver Anna Coorey on Friday in Suffolk County Superior Court in Massachusetts, Reuters reported.
The legal line between employee and contractor can be a fine one contingent on the level of control that an employer has over a worker.
Coorey, who is employed through an agency, reportedly claims in her suit that she is required to wear a Google Express uniform and must accept every delivery request while she is working.
Google Express offers delivery from local stores and is the company's play into the growing on-demand delivery space.
The lawsuit, filed days after a similar one against Amazon, brings Google into a legal battle nationwide over the status of workers for on-demand economy services, including rideshare rivals Uber and Lyft.
Labor activists argue that the companies should provide a stronger safety net for their employees, possibly by classifying them as employees or, if lawmakers are able, creating a third class for workers.
The issue has gained some prominence in Washington, with Sen. Mark WarnerMark WarnerSenate passes stopgap funding bill, averting shutdown Senate advances funding measure, avoiding shutdown Stopgap funding bill poised to pass Senate before midnight deadline MORE (D-Va.) calling for legislation that builds safety net functions for workers in the on-demand economy.
The issue is winding itself through the legal system. Uber and Lyft both face lawsuits in federal court in California, and a judge has said that many cases against Uber may proceed as a class-action suit. But the suits against Google and Amazon bring more established companies directly into the battle over what workers are owed.