Crowded.com, the leading marketplace for on-demand workers, today unveiled its latest survey findings about the ongoing and heated debate surrounding worker classification.
“In 2015, worker classification has become a hot topic among pundits and politicians discussing the on-demand economy,” said Mark Roth, COO & Co-Founder of Crowded.com. “So far, most of the prevailing opinions suggest that there is a wholesale misclassification of workers who are currently working as 1099 independent contractors, but who should instead be classified as employees receiving W2s.”
The pundits and politicians certainly have their opinions, but they are not in the trenches, picking up passengers or dropping off packages for the on-demand services. “Has anyone thought to ask the workers what they think about this important issue?” asked Roth. Through a series of on-demand worker focus groups as well as a survey of 1099 workers, Crowded.com has been able to tap into its valuable on-demand worker marketplace for information. As a result, Crowded.com discovered that the majority of workers still prefer to be classified as contractors, craving the freedom and flexibility that being a contractor offers, while resisting the restrictions and limits that being an employee can bring, such as limiting the the number of hours they can work.
According to the Crowded.com survey, given the choice between being classified as 1099 or W2, 80.2% of on-demand workers prefer to be classified as 1099 independent contractors; 11.72% would prefer to be classified as W2 employees; and 8.45% do not understand the difference between W2 and 1099.
“There are several lawsuits progressing on behalf of those on-demand contractors who in fact believe that they should be considered employees,” said Roth. “No matter how they receive payment, many workers make the point that the independent contractors are not getting the protections, such as workers’ compensation and the unemployment benefits that they deserve under their current classification.”
In addition to collecting data for its recent worker classification survey, the founders behind Crowded.com continue to compile extensive regional and national data on the on-demand industry, its workers, jobs and platforms. Crowded.com recently hosted two industry roundtables that brought together on-demand executives and venture investors in the space. In addition, Crowded.com hosted several Independent Worker Meetups to gain direct insight and feedback to the needs of today’s on-demand workforce.