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Meet the Lawyer Challenging the Food-Delivery Industry

After confronting labor practices at Uber, Shannon Liss-Riordan is looking to your takeout next.

Spencer Platt / Getty Images

Uber’s employment practices have been making headlines lately, and the pending lawsuit against the company in the state of California could have wide-ranging implications for the entire on-demand economy. The crux of the case is the classification of Uber drivers. Many drivers claim they are employees, not contract workers, but the company disagrees. The classification is important: When companies classify workers as contract workers, employers don’t have to pay minimum wage or contribute to Social Security payments, unemployment or workers’ compensation. And contract workers shouldn’t legally be trained or told how to perform their job.

Boston-based attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan is representing Uber drivers in California, but it’s not just the ride-share app she has her sights on — it’s the entire on-demand economy, which Liss-Riordan believes encourages a systematic misclassification and mistreatment of its workers.

The latest companies that have attracted Liss-Riordan’s attention, and her litigations, are food delivery start-ups.

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