A recent finding by the California Labor Commission highlights this disconnect. The commission determined that Barbara Berwick, a San Francisco driver, was an employee of Uber rather than an independent contractor. While the decision does not set a precedent, it may be reversed by courts and might be made moot by Uber making minor changes to its standard contract, this conflict nonetheless highlights the difficulty of applying antiquated laws to new and rapidly evolving industries. Current labor laws were written at a time when large companies were regarded as permanent fixtures in the economy, workers tended to stay with one employer for many years, employees had one full-time job, and many industries were heavily unionized. Those conditions no longer exist. As a result, our laws are increasingly ineffective in giving
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