Instacart Shoppers Can Now Choose to Be Real Employees

From Wired, Davey Alba reports that Instacart is starting to give its workers the option of being an employee.  Davey writes:

“Instacart—one of Silicon Valley’s fastest-growing upstarts in the emerging on-demand economy—is giving its army of personal shoppers the chance to become actual employees of the company.

Instacart says it is rolling out the option to become part-time employees to its shoppers in Boston and Chicago beginning today. Until now, Instacart’s shoppers all worked as independent contractors. Workers in more cities will get the same option in the coming months, the startup said.

Workers who choose to convert from contractor status to part-time will get workers’ compensation, and Instacart will pay for their unemployment, Social Security, and Medicare taxes, according to the company. But Instacart says employees will still have flexibility when it comes to picking their own shifts—a key selling point in attracting workers. The company also says it will not impose a minimum number of hours of work for its new part-time employees, though it will cap their number of hours worked per week to keep them below the full-time threshold.

“When you look at the difficulty of shopping, picking and delivering items such as fruit or eggs that need to be carefully selected, you realize that grocery shopping can be complicated,” says Instacart CEO Apoorva Mehta. “For this reason, we want to provide supervision and training, which can only be done with employees.”…”

Read the full story at Instacart Shoppers Can Now Choose to Be Real Employees

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