(Reuters) – The US Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday proposed a pilot program to allow technology companies such as Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. to pay gig workers up to 15% of their annual compensation in equity rather than cash, a move it is said be designed to reflect changes in the workforce.
The Securities and Exchange Commission said that Internet-based companies may have the same incentive to offer compensation to gig workers as they do to employees. To date, however, SEC rules have not allowed companies to pay gig workers in equity.
The proposal would not require an increase in salary, but only create flexibility to pay with cash or equity. It comes amid a heated debate over the fast-growing gig economy, with labor activists complaining that they are exploiting workers and depriving them of job security and traditional benefits such as health care and paid holidays. The SEC's Democratic commissioners said it would provide unequal playing conditions for other types of companies to give tech giants such flexibility. of the broader US economy, "said SEC Chairman Jay Clayton in a statement.
The proposed temporary rules would allow gig workers to participate in the growth of companies supporting their efforts, he added, limited to 1
Democratic SEC Commissioners Allison Lee and Caroline Crenshaw opposed the move, saying that alternative work arrangements, including independent contractors and freelancers, had existed for decades in a number of industries and it was not clear why technical companies would be designated for special treatment.
"Regardless of the potential benefits of compensation for alternative workers, the proposal does not provide a basis for selectively granting a benefit to this business model," they wrote in a statement.