When it comes to the "gig economy," one of the more controversial issues is how Uber, Lyft, Amazon and other companies save money by classifying their workers as independent contractors rather than employees. Contract workers aren't eligible for many standard workplace benefits and protections, such as employer-paid payroll taxes, access to workers' compensation and unemployment insurance, and the right to be paid the overtime premium rate. They're not even guaranteed the minimum wage.
In what many employee advocates see as a blow to workers and the employment laws that protect them, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that employers may require mandatory arbitration clauses in employment contracts. The 5-4 ruling makes it more likely that companies will require these clauses, which typically prohibit employees from banding together to bring class action lawsuits.