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Gig economy workers who are classified as independent contractors have been squeezed out of the workers' compensation system. (Credit: Daniel Dror/Shutterstock) Gig economy workers who are classified as independent contractors have been squeezed out of the workers’ compensation system. (Credit: Daniel Dror/Shutterstock)

A few months ago, Uber and Lyft drivers around the world went on a 24-hour strike to protest unfair pay, the lack of transparency in the ride-hailing giants’ fare systems, poor working conditions and the lack of benefits.

The protests came just before Uber’s much-anticipated May 10 initial public offering. The strike was timed to grab headlines and bring awareness to the plight of drivers. Uber and Lyft, like other businesses in the so-called “gig economy,” classify their workers as independent contractors, making them ineligible for the benefits of traditional employment, like health insurance, paid time off or workers’ compensation.

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