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Summer Partners with Steady to Offer Student Loan Services to Over 2M Hourly and Gig Workers

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ATLANTA, June 15, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Summer announced today that it is teaming up with Steady to introduce student loan financial assistance to the millions of hourly and gig workers on their platform. Summer’s mission is to improve the financial health of individuals across all income levels. Steady’s worker population has been some of the hardest hit from COVID-19. Many hourly and gig economy workers now face an uncertain ability to earn a consistent income.

As a result of this financial crisis, Steady is ramping up creative ways to support workers who are looking to increase their incomes and do not benefit from employer specific benefits that provide workers with support in areas such as healthcare, retirement and tax. In partnership with Summer, Steady users with student loans will be able to access Summer to help lower their monthly payments and have more cash on hand. Despite these accruing disadvantages, many hourly and gig workers are still expected to make their student loan payments. While the U.S. federal government has taken the important step of pausing payments on all Federal Direct loans through September, millions of borrowers have continued to make payments on private student loans and commercially-held FFEL and Perkins loans that were excluded from the CARES Act. 

“Equipping workers with modern tools like Summer to mitigate other financial pain points while working to ease the prospect of navigating uncertain employment waters,” Adam Roseman, Steady’s CEO explains, “provides every hourly and gig worker with a fighting chance to improve their financial lives without the added burden of crippling student loan debt.”

Borrowers who are either unemployed or have experienced a significant salary reduction could be eligible for a $0 or a low monthly payment in a federal Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) plan. A borrower with a monthly payment of $300 can save $3,600 this year alone—3x the $1,200 stimulus check. 

“The economic downturn is adding gasoline to the fire for millions of student loan borrowers who have long struggled to cover high monthly payments,” said Will Sealy, Summer’s CEO “ We’re proud to work with Steady to help their members enroll in programs like income-driven repayment to achieve greater financial stability during the turbulence of this recession.”

About Summer

A certified B Corp, Summer is the leading resource for borrowers to simplify and save on their student debt—offering cutting-edge tools and a dedicated team of student loan experts to find, compare and enroll in dozens of loan assistance and forgiveness programs.

About Steady

Launched in 2018, Steady puts tools into the hands of American workers to help them solve their increasing income challenges caused by wages not keeping up with costs of living, the reduction of available work hours at employers due to their driving efficiencies, and future job loss due to automation. Steady makes it easier than ever for workers to fill their income gaps, gain insights into their income, and improve their overall financial well-being. To date, the Steady app has been downloaded more than 2.7 million times.

For more information:
Paul Wilke
steady@uprightcomms.com
+1-415-215-8750

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Economy

Performance Management in the Gig Economy

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Unlike the remote employee who operates in the gig economy, many employees working in traditional settings, and annual performance reviews are a normal part of their work-life as coffee breaks and paid time off. However, these annual performance reviews have proven to be highly ineffective and painful for both managers and employees. 

Performance management in the gig economy is worlds different than performance reviews. It includes making your employees feel included, giving recognition, and encouraging open discussions, among other things. 

As a result, many companies are slowly replacing them with other forms of performance assessment, such as regular employee feedback. According to The Washington Post, roughly 10% of Fortune 500 companies have abandoned annual performance reviews.

But there’s one group of employees who don’t benefit from either annual performance reviews and regular feedback. They’re the gig workers or the independent contractors who work on side gigs. 

If once the term “gig” was associated with jazz musicians, today, that term is used to describe external professionals across all industries, such as software engineering, graphic design, SEO specialists, and more. 

Estimations tell that roughly 150 million workers in North America and Western Europe have quit their 9-to-5 lives to join the gig economy

The tech giant Microsoft, for example, has two-thirds as many contractors as employees. Uber, the ride-hailing company, has 160,000…

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Economy

An official crusade against Prop. 22, the gig workers measure

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Reasonable people can disagree whether the business model of Uber, Lyft and other transportation services is a model of flexible part-time work or cruelly exploits non-employee workers.

Their drivers, often using their own vehicles, are paid by the ride, giving rise to the term “gig economy.”

Uber, et al, contend that they give drivers opportunities to voluntarily supplement their incomes by working whenever it suits them. It’s not uncommon for someone to simultaneously drive for both Uber and Lyft.

The model, however, is unsettling to unions and their political allies, who contend that it deprives gig workers of rights and benefits of being on the payroll, such as contributions for Social Security and Medicare benefits and overtime pay. As independent contractors, gig workers also cannot be union members.

Two years ago, the state Supreme Court essentially declared gig work to be an illegal misclassification and the Legislature followed up with a hotly contested measure, Assembly Bill 5, that put the decision into law with very few exceptions.

Uber, et al, responded with a ballot measure that would exempt them from the legislation while offering gig workers some employee-like benefits.

Ostensibly, then, voters will decide whether gig work is an appropriate new model or an abomination when they either pass or reject Proposition 22.

However, the anti-Proposition 22 coalition — unions and their political allies — is not content to just let voters decide, but is waging an all-out pre-election crusade through official channels, essentially inserting government into a political campaign.

Attorney General Xavier Becerra signaled pre-campaign hostilities by giving Proposition 22 a slanted official title: “Exempts app-based transportation and delivery companies from providing employee benefits to certain drivers.”

It closely mirrors the anti-Proposition 22 campaign theme and the companies challenged it in court, only to lose as judges affirmed Becerra’s wide discretion to write ballot measure summaries.

Becerra and some city attorneys also sued Uber and Lyft for continuing to classify their drivers as independent contractors despite the passage of AB 5 and this week, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Ethan Schulman ruled against the companies.

Schulman said the companies’ employment practices are depriving drivers “of the panoply of basic rights to which employees are entitled under California law.”

“Our state and workers shouldn’t have to foot the bill when big businesses try to skip out on their responsibilities,” Becerra said in a statement. “We’re going to keep working to make sure Uber and Lyft play by the rules.”

“The vast majority of drivers want to work independently, and we’ve already made significant changes to our app to ensure that remains the case under California law,” Uber spokesperson Davis White said in a statement.

A few days earlier, state Labor Commissioner Lilia Garcia-Brower sued Uber and Lyft to recover back wages for drivers that allegedly had been cheated out of pay by misclassification, thus inserting Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration into the pre-Proposition 22 drive.

Finally, the author of AB 5, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, a San Diego Democrat, has proposed another crackdown in a new bill.

Assembly Bill 1066 would allow the Department of Employment Development to delegate collection of unemployment insurance payroll taxes to Becerra’s office. It specifically mentions going after companies using “misclassified independent contractors.”

The battle that pits the gig worker companies against unions and Democratic politicians began when the state’s economy was booming. In the throes of deep recession, Proposition 22’s fate may hinge on whether voters perceive gig work as a lifeline for the unemployed or see gig companies as part of the economic problem.

Dan Walters is a CalMatters columnist.

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California’s crusade against the gig economy and Prop. 22 – Daily News

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Reasonable people can disagree whether the business model of Uber, Lyft and other transportation services is a model of flexible part-time work or cruelly exploits non-employee workers.

Their drivers, often using their own vehicles, are paid by the ride, giving rise to the term “gig economy.”

Uber, et al, contend that they give drivers opportunities to voluntarily supplement their incomes by working whenever it suits them. It’s not uncommon for someone to simultaneously drive for both Uber and Lyft.

The model, however, is unsettling to unions and their political allies, who contend that it deprives gig workers of rights and benefits of being on the payroll, such as contributions for Social Security and Medicare benefits and overtime pay. As independent contractors, gig workers also cannot be union members.

Two years ago, the state Supreme Court essentially declared gig work to be an illegal misclassification and the Legislature followed up with a hotly contested measure, Assembly Bill 5, that put the decision into law with very few exceptions.

Uber, et al, responded with a ballot measure that would exempt them from the legislation while offering gig workers some employee-like benefits.

Ostensibly, then, voters will decide whether gig work is an appropriate new model or an abomination when they either pass or reject Proposition 22.

However, the anti-Proposition 22 coalition — unions and their political allies — is not content to just let voters decide, but is waging an all-out pre-election crusade through official channels, essentially inserting government into a political campaign.

Attorney General Xavier Becerra signaled pre-campaign hostilities by giving Proposition 22 a slanted official title: “Exempts app-based transportation and delivery companies from providing employee benefits to certain drivers.”

It closely mirrors the anti-Proposition 22 campaign theme and the companies challenged it in court, only to lose as judges affirmed Becerra’s wide discretion to write ballot measure summaries.

Becerra and some city attorneys also sued Uber and Lyft for continuing to classify their drivers as independent contractors despite the passage of AB 5 and this week, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Ethan Schulman ruled against the companies.

Schulman said the companies’ employment practices are depriving drivers “of the panoply of basic rights to which employees are entitled under California law.”

“Our state and workers shouldn’t have to foot the bill when big businesses try to skip out on their responsibilities,” Becerra said in a statement. “We’re going to keep working to make sure Uber and Lyft play by the rules.”

“The vast majority of drivers want to work independently, and we’ve already made significant changes to our app to ensure that remains the case under California law,” Uber spokesperson Davis White said in a statement.

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