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2020 Trends: Greater Focus on Background Screening Gig Economy

The term “gig economy” refers to a free market system in which businesses hire independent contractors, freelancers, or short-term workers to fill jobs or complete assignments. It has its roots in the world of the performing arts, where musicians, comedians, and others have traditionally referred to their paid appearances as “gigs.” 

  • In 2018, nearly 36 percent of the total U.S. workforce was made up of part or full-time gig workers. The gig economy will likely grow even faster as more people become comfortable using mobile devices to trade products and services online. 

The Need to Screen Gig Workers

Unlike traditional employment, where there is a greater degree of personal supervision, the gig economy often involves workers in unsupervised situations, such as rideshare drivers and delivery persons. Because such situations could potentially pose a risk to users, the term “trust economy” is synonymous with the gig economy.  

Reliable gig firms have built-in safety measures – including thorough employee screening processes – to help consumers feel more secure. This helps prevent such devastating occurrences as: 

  • At least 103 Uber drivers being accused of sexually assaulting or abusing their passengers within a four-year period, and as many as 31 being convicted of crimes ranging from forcible touching to false imprisonment and rape. 

If you hire gig workers, be sure to partner with a trusted firm to provide reliable employment screening. This includes keeping abreast of evolving local, state, and federal legislation. For instance, Bill H.4570 in Massachusetts requires Uber and Lyft drivers to undergo a full state Criminal Offender Records Information (CORI) background check, including sex offender registry status, and a biannual national commercial background screening, per the mandates of Transportation Network Companies. 

  • The same level of screening used for full-time and on-site positions should be used for those being filled by gig workers. 
  • If you hire someone whom you should have known was dangerous, unfit or unqualified, you could be found negligent, whether this applies to a permanent or gig employee. 

Work With an Expert!

Chane Solutions is a nationally trusted provider of employment screening and drug testing. We work with many gig employers and can help your company adapt to the every-changing trust economy, circa 2020 and beyond. Read our related posts or contact us today to learn more.  


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