A lawsuit filed in California alleges that Handy, the sharing economy’s version of a cleaning service, is playing dirty with its workers. Like its brethren—Uber, Taskrabbits and others—the company uses independent contractors instead of employees.
However, the lawsuit contends that Handy maintains such tight control over its contractors that they are actually employees under the law.
The two Handy contractors who filed the suit outline the numerous requirements Handy places on them. Each contractor is required to wear a Handy uniform, is told how to address the customer, when to shake the customer’s hand and even how to go to the bathroom. This amount of control, the suit asserts, turns independent contractors into employees.
Additionally, the suit alleges the company refuses workers paid breaks and overtime and withholds tips.
Should the suit succeed, Handy would have to pay its workers the minimum wage and cover, in addition to providing workers’ compensation and health insurance. Currently, the independent contractors are responsible for those costs.