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Should Uber drivers be considered employees? Viewers sound off.

Hari Sreenivasan reads viewer comments on NewsHour Weekend’s report from last week on how the definition of “employee” is changing in the sharing economy -- where companies like Uber and Instacart have taken off.

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  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    And now to Viewers Like You — your chance to comment on our work.

    Here's some of what you had to say about last week's story about companies like Uber and Instacart — and how the definition of "employee" is changing in the sharing economy.

    There was this from Uber driver Steven Simpson-Black: I've worked independent contractor-type jobs my entire life. Newspaper delivery, janitorial work, etc. I pay full taxes… I can say I make more money per hour working for myself than I would making minimum wage elsewhere. Stay out of my business, and I'll stay out of yours.

  • And from Elias Rachid:

    Leave these companies alone. If people don't want to work for them, they don't have to.

  • Colorado Native noted:

    My gut tells me that because Uber and other companies like them are disruptive, the traditional companies in their industry don't like them… tradition that didn't become tradition until the automobile (a disruptive force) forced out the horse-drawn carriage from the livery business. So goes progress.

    Many of your comments were like this from John Michael Hutton: Uber drivers should have to comply with the same rules and regulations that cab drivers must. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck.

    And this from Wes Montgomery: Uber handles the payment and specifies what payment methods are available. Uber is a car service… drivers are an integral part of their business model. These facts point strongly to an employment relationship, regardless of who owns the car or whether they set their own hours and choose which fares to accept.

  • Kathleen Anderson added:

    I do not understand why they are not subject to the same rules and regs as taxi drivers. They are selling the same service. Can someone explain that?

    Deniese N. Wainscoat wondered: So … what happens to these independent contractors when they retire?

    And finally there was this from TrustKnow1: I might be old fashioned, but I'll do my own shopping and stick with a traditional taxi service.

    As always, we welcome your comments at PBS.org/newshour, on our Facebook page or tweet us at @NewsHour.

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