This report explores how governments use technology, what drives technology adoption, and how technologies affect public sector workers and the delivery of public services. Using examples across local, state, and federal governments, the report finds that transparency and accountability have lagged behind rapid technology adoption in the wake of COVID-19, and that public sector workers play a critical role in ensuring that technology is used to strengthen the ability of governments to provide quality and equitable public services.
Future of Work & Workers
Research & Publications
Drawing on dozens of examples of public sector technology use across local, state, and federal government agencies, this comprehensive report identifies how governments use technology, what drives technology adoption, and how these technologies impact public sector work and the nation’s twenty million public sector workers.
Berkeley Blog post. Employers are increasingly using digital technologies to hire, manage, and monitor workers, largely without any regulation. But on January 1, California took a first step towards worker data rights when new amendments to the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) went into effect and covered workers at large businesses.
A 1987 report from the federal Office of Technology Assessment recognized the potential for employers to misuse and abuse new technologies resulting in adverse effects for workers, but recommended a “wait and see” approach due to lack of data to justify regulation. This blog post reviews decades of research since publication of the report that finds electronic performance monitoring (EPM) systems do increase worker stress and cause other harms.
This month’s “Expert Focus” from Washington Center for Equitable Growth highlights leaders in the field of the future of work who are examining technology’s impact on workers and the U.S. economy. Learn more about the work of Annette Bernhardt and and other leading researchers in the field.
November 29, 2022
Expert Focus: Studying the future of work and technology’s impact on workers
March 1, 2022
Independent Contracting in California: An Analysis of Trends and Characteristics Using Tax Data
April 7, 2022
Will Amazon’s first union have something to say about surveillance tech?
November 3, 2021
Data and Algorithms at Work: The Case for Worker Technology Rights
April 19, 2021
Ensuring Worker Rights and Promoting Equity in the Use of New Workplace Technologies
Prop 22 and the Rideshare Industry
October 4, 2021
Labor Center Research on the Rideshare Industry
September 29, 2021
Massachusetts Uber/Lyft Ballot Proposition Would Create Subminimum Wage: Drivers Could Earn as Little as $4.82 an Hour
January 15, 2021
Prop 22 Is Here, and It’s Already Worse Than Expected
May 7, 2020
What would Uber and Lyft owe to the State Unemployment Insurance Fund?
October 31, 2019
The Uber/Lyft Ballot Initiative Guarantees only $5.64 an Hour
Gig companies pledge to help end hunger in the U.S. Some of their workers can’t afford the food they deliver.
A study from UC Berkeley’s Labor Center and a recent one backed by gig workers suggest hourly wages — which are based on the time when a worker is actively engaged on the app and do not include total working time — could be as low as under $10.
Under Biden’s proposed rule, “There is a very strong case that gig workers are misclassified,” Jacobs wrote in an email to Capital & Main. “The proposed rule would make it easier to prove misclassification in industries with a long history of misclassification, like janitorial, trucking and construction.”
The memo cited a variety of research, legal cases and news stories on the subject. One citation is a 2021 report from researchers at the University of California at Berkeley Labor Center that detailed the use of data and algorithms to analyze worker productivity, automate hiring processes and monitor activity.