Legal liability and the gig economy

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Uber is largely hailed as the advent of the gig economy, which is the idea that people do not work as permanent employees for one employer but instead work in a labor market characterized by short-term contracts or freelance work. While creating a new type of entrepreneurship for individuals, a gig economy raises a host of new legal questions about the law of agency for companies utilizing gig workers.

Your boss at an investment firm has asked you to evaluate Uber’s legal exposure for the conduct of its drivers, given the information below and identify, and to explain the law and legal liability in this vast new gig economy world.

Write a 3–4 page interoffice memo in which you do the following:

  1. Summarize the main principles of agency law as they relate to Uber’s relationship with its drivers.
  2. Analyze the circumstances under which Uber might be liable for the conduct of a driver who, while intoxicated, caused an accident involving personal property damage and bodily injury.
  3. Identify the steps Uber can take, if any, to limit its legal exposure due to the conduct of its drivers.
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