Under Governor Charlie Baker’s orders, all non-essential businesses in Massachusetts have shut their doors and their employees are asked to stay in their homes. Some businesses, like grocery stores, take-out restaurants and ride-share companies are exempt from the law, and so are their employees. Included in these exemptions are many workers who make up the "Gig economy." These workers often make their entire living working for companies such as Uber, DoorDash, Postmates or GrubHub.

According to labor attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan, the outbreak of COVID-19 exposed the flaws of treating full-time gig workers as independent contractors. Though workers for companies like DoorDash and Instacart are still working, and risking exposure to COVID-19, they are not provided sick-leave or health insurance.

“This crisis is really laying bare the problem that we’ve been fighting for so long, which is that independent contractors and in particular gig workers, who we’ve been fighting for years to get employment rights for--these companies like Uber, Lyft, Postmates, DoorDash, GrubHub, Handy, Instacart--they all deny that these workers are employees,” Liss-Riordan said during an interview with Boston Public Radio on Tuesday. “So, they say that they’re running their own independent businesses, and they don’t have any rights under the wage laws.”