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The Boston Globe

Business

Innovation Economy

In the sharing economy, a rift over worker classification

The worker of the future will be fast, flexible, and available the instant a customer clicks a button on a smartphone screen.

But the worker of the future will not be an employee — at least if some of today’s fastest-growing and best-funded startups have their way. They’re positioning themselves as “technology platforms” that simply connect people with independent chauffeurs, house cleaners, or errand-runners. For the most part, the armies of workers that companies like Uber or TaskRabbit are assembling — often after screening interviews, background checks, and training programs — are treated as independent contractors and receive no benefits.

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