500 signatures reached
To: United States Congress
Extend Unemployment Payments & Ensure Overpayment Relief for Gig Workers
The people who make gig corporations run—the drivers, the couriers, the shoppers—need financial assistance now.
Gig Workers Rising is demanding:
- An extension to unemployment insurance benefits for all gig workers until this pandemic and recession is over and gig workers can earn a living wage.
- Full overpayment relief for people who work for gig corporations. Gig workers cannot afford to pay money back to the government when many can’t even afford healthcare in the middle of a pandemic.
Why is this important?
More than 7.3 million gig workers, independent contractors, and self-employed workers will see their unemployment benefits cut on December 26 if the government doesn’t act.
Millions of people who work for gig companies, such as Uber and Lyft drivers, were directed to apply for unemployment benefits through the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program when the COVID-19 pandemic began. Only some have been able to access state unemployment benefits.
In any event, these benefits were—and continue to be—extremely meager. The average payment given to workers is between $114 and $357 a week—below the poverty line in most states. Now, some people who were directed to apply for PUA are even being notified that they have been overpaid and may be responsible for returning the overpaid amount .
This is not only unrealistic, it is inhumane. Many gig workers are behind on rent and struggling to keep food on the table, and do not have extra cash on hand to return to the state.
While drivers, couriers, and shoppers are struggling to stay safe and pay their bills, gig corporations have gotten richer and have not paid a dime into state unemployment insurance funds. For example, through misclassifying their workers, Uber and Lyft avoided paying a total of $413 million into California’s unemployment insurance fund between 2014 and 2019.
Sign on today and stand with gig workers who are demanding an extension on their benefits and relief for any overpayment.