Hillary Clinton vs. Uber and the Sharing Economy

New business practices are "raising hard questions about workplace protections."

hillary clinton free library

(Photo by HughE Dillon)

Hillary Clinton has put Uber, Airbnb and the sharing economy in her crosshairs as she runs for president.

In a speech laying out her economic agenda on Monday, Clinton acknowledged that “many Americans are making extra money renting out a spare room,” or even “driving their own car.” But, she cautioned that it’s “raising hard questions about workplace protections and what a good job will look like in the future.”

Clinton also vowed to “crack down on bosses who exploit employees by misclassifying them as contractors or even steal their wages,” the former Secretary of State said during her talk at the New School in Manhattan. Clinton stopped short of naming specific companies.

Sure, Clinton said the new sharing economy is “creating exciting opportunities and unleashing innovation” but her speech was clear: She’s hoping to protect the American worker above all else.

But more and more, the United States is looking like a freelance economy — where people are their own bosses and make their own schedules. Just look at the rise of Instacart, Postmates and the new “delivery economy” in Philly. But typically, jobs at companies in the sharing economy are part-time, meaning workers have less access to company-sponsored health care, retirement benefits and sick leave.

“Fair pay and fair scheduling, paid family leave and earned sick days, child care are essential to our competitiveness and growth,” Clinton said.

Clinton also laid out other economic policy positions. She said “getting closer to full employment is crucial” and that she wants to be known as “the small business president” because they create 60 percent of new American jobs.

“Throughout this campaign I’m going to be talking about how we empower entrepreneurs with less red tape, easier access to capital, tax relief and simplification,” she said. “I’ll also push for broader business tax reform to spur investment in America, closing those loopholes that reward companies for sending jobs and profits overseas.”

Check out her entire speech here: