Sanders targets gig economy as part of new labor plan

Sanders targets gig economy as part of new labor plan

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersMSNBC's Chris Matthews confuses South Carolina Democratic Senate candidate with GOP's Tim Scott Trump surveys South Carolina supporters on preferred Democratic opponent Watch live: Trump holds a rally in South Carolina MORE (I-Vt.) took a shot at companies like Uber and Lyft on Wednesday with a new plan that would make it harder for them to rely on gig workers.

Sanders, a presidential candidate, unveiled a wide-ranging “Workplace Democracy” plan to promote workers’ rights and expand unions.

As part of the platform, Sanders promised to crack down on the gig economy, which critics say has allowed companies to exploit workers by treating them as contractors instead of offering them the full benefits that come with being an employee.

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Under the plan, "companies will no longer be able to ruthlessly exploit workers by misclassifying them as independent contractors or deny them overtime by falsely calling them a ‘supervisor,’ ” it reads. “When Bernie is president, his administration will end the ability of corporations to misclassify workers as ‘independent contractors’ or label them as a ‘supervisor.’ ”

Neither Uber or Lyft immediately responded to a request for comment.

The companies have faced an uphill fight in California, where the state legislature is considering a bill that would make it harder for them to classify gig workers as contractors instead of employees.

Uber and Lyft have argued that the law would make it harder for them to offer the flexibility that they believe makes their services attractive to drivers.

Sanders isn’t the only candidate who has backed protections for gig workers. Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenMSNBC's Chris Matthews confuses South Carolina Democratic Senate candidate with GOP's Tim Scott Trump surveys South Carolina supporters on preferred Democratic opponent Watch live: Trump holds a rally in South Carolina MORE (D-Mass.) endorsed the California bill last week, writing in an op-ed that the current arrangement allows "employers to deny workers basic protections like the right to organize, wage and hour laws, health care coverage and protections against sexual harassment."

Sanders has also introduced a bill that would expand protections for gig workers, with a group of co-sponsors that includes candidates like Warren, Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerThe Memo: Biden seeks revival in South Carolina Bloomberg campaign lobbied Yang for endorsement, possible VP offer: report Warren calls for changes to presidential pardon power, pledges to create clemency board MORE (D-N.J.) and Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandNow is the time for a US data protection agency The Hill's Campaign Report: Warren up, Bloomberg down after brutal debate Ginsburg, accepting lifetime achievement award, urges working fathers to take an active role in kids' lives MORE (D-N.Y.).