In a landmark ruling, United States Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Corley has declared Grubhub driver Raef Lawson to be an employee for the purposes of wage laws. This could mark an important and potentially far-reaching moment for the gig economy, as Mr. Lawson is the first worker to be such declared by a court. Shannon Liss-Riordan, Lawson’s attorney, noted the significance of the case, saying, “Raef Lawson is the first gig worker in America to be declared an employee by a court for wage law purposes.”
Alarmingly, despite the ruling, Mr. Lawson was only awarded $65.11. This suggests that the onus may be on gig workers themselves to pursue legal action in order to receive the fair compensation they may be entitled to. The outcome of this case could provide a template for similar lawsuits in the future, potentially revolutionizing the gig economy.