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Courtesy of GrubHub

The gig economy's question of whether workers should be classified as employees has a new chance at getting an answer. On Thursday, a San Francisco magistrate judge ruled to let a former driver's lawsuit against food ordering company GrubHub to move forward, as Ars Technica reported. It's now scheduled for a trial in the fall.

Why this matters: Companies that provide on-demand services have long been criticized for classifying their workers as independent contractors instead of employees as a way to avoid providing them with benefits, which are costly, despite many of them working full-time hours. But as more workers shift to freelance work and new business models (and mobile apps) make it possible for industries to rethink labor, we'll need to figure out how companies should interact with their workers.

Unlike other food delivery companies like DoorDash and Postmates, GrubHub's core business doesn't employee drivers — restaurants are responsible for the deliveries themselves. GrubHub's foray into providing delivery for orders from eateries without drivers is a relatively new development to help the company service more merchants.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

The beginning of the beginning for Biden's climate push

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Joe Biden's inauguration and the days right after will bring a rat-tat-tat burst of climate policy moves, but keep this in mind amid the splashy pledges: pushing through most of his agenda will be a long, uncertain slog.

Why it matters: Biden's climate plan is far more expansive than anything contemplated under President Obama. But for all the immediate pledges, it will take years to see how far Biden gets.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Biden's inflation danger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President-elect Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal has economists and bullish market analysts revising their U.S. growth expectations higher, predicting a reflation of the economy in 2021 and possibly more booming returns for risk assets.

Yes, but: Others are warning that what's expected to be reflation could actually show up as inflation, a much less welcome phenomenon.

Ina Fried, author of Login
4 hours ago - Technology

CES was largely irrelevant this year

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Forced online by the pandemic and overshadowed by the attack on the Capitol, the 2021 edition of CES was mostly an afterthought as media's attention focused elsewhere.

Why it matters: The consumer electronics trade show is the cornerstone event for the Consumer Technology Association and Las Vegas has been the traditional early-January gathering place for the tech industry.

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