Evaluating the Labor, Environmental, and Safety Implications of Home Delivery Services and Ride-hailing Companies

Research Lead: Amelia Regan

University: UC Irvine

Problem Statement: Many home delivery and ride-hailing companies have been hemorrhaging cash since they began operations, and some will surely fold in the wake of COVID-19. California law Assembly Bill 5 went into effect on January 1, 2020, and changes how gig economy workers are paid, as well as the benefits drivers are entitled to. Recent estimates suggest that Uber and Lyft could be liable for hundreds of millions of dollars in back payments to the State of California for unpaid unemployment insurance as a result of AB 5.

Project Description: This research will investigate concerns about the negative externalities of home-delivery and ride-hailing operations, including their impacts on safety, the environment, and labor security, by analyzing gig economy industries post-COVID-19. Surveys of recent academic literature as well as popular press articles will be doncudcted along with two surveys of Transportation Network Companies (Uber, Lyft), Courier Network Services (Doordash, Instacart), and non-employee delivery services (Amazon, Walmart) workers in California. This project will complement the recent, but now outdated, extensive study performed by other University of California researchers; however, this study will not be as comprehensive as past surveys but instead will focus on ethical concerns related to these industries and changes brought about by the pandemic.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $24,950