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The rise of the gig economy, alternatively termed the “on-demand” or “peer-to-peer” economy, has received heavy scrutiny in recent years. Many pundits have lauded the freedom, flexibility, and entrepreneurial opportunities afforded by such work. Yet, others have been less sanguine, noting gig workers face financial uncertainty and insecurity and lack critical benefits and protections.

Indeed, the most salient — and controversial — aspect of the gig economy is that it is chiefly comprised of independent contractors, as opposed to fulltime employees. This is no niche issue; the gig economy presently employs about 20 to 30 percent of the American workforce, with that estimate increasing to 40 or even 50 percent in the next three years, according to various studies.

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