Gig workers could get unemployment benefits under $2 trillion Senate stimulus bill

The Senate’s historic $2 trillion stimulus package will make history in one more way: by providing some financial assistance to gig workers.

Late last night, the Senate passed a $2 trillion stimulus bill in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the bill, which makes its way to the House of Representatives for a vote this week, gig workers would be eligible to apply for unemployment benefits. Additionally, the bill would provide $600 per week in federal assistance for unemployed workers for up to four months.

This is good news for gig workers, who have been fighting for companies like Uber, Lyft and DoorDash to provide them with benefits. In California, there is already a law that would give gig workers benefits, but companies have so far chosen not to adhere to it. Even more, companies like Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and Instacart are backing a ballot initiative that would enable them to keep their workers as independent contractors. These companies’ rationale is that the gig worker protections law in California, which outlines what makes someone an employee versus an independent contractor, does not apply to their businesses.

Earlier this week, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi wrote a letter to

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