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Uber temporarily closes local hubs for drivers amid virus outbreak

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Uber has temporarily closed its U.S. and Canada Greenlight Hubs, where drivers can go to get in-person help with answering questions and completing forms, in an effort to help lessen the spread of the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Uber and other gig economy companies have faced mounting questions over how they'll help their thousands of drivers (who are not employees) given the very social nature of their work.

Coronavirus rescue bill extends unemployment benefits to gig economy

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

As part of the bipartisan deal Senate leaders and the White House struck early Wednesday, unemployment benefits will be extended to groups including gig economy workers, per a statement from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Why it matters: This is an unprecedented expansion of benefits to gig economy workers, who have been classified as independent contractors instead of employees by ride-hailing and food delivery companies, among others.

How Uber will compensate drivers affected by COVID-19

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Uber released more details about how it will compensate drivers affected by COVID-19, which will be based on their average daily earnings over the last six months.

Why it matters: Ride-hailing and delivery drivers are among the most vulnerable as the virus spreads, both because of the very social nature of their jobs and because they don't qualify for sick leave as independent contractors.