The Federal Trade Commission is making its own offer to protect temporary workers from exploitation. The regulator has adopted a policy statement detailing how you will address temporary worker issues. The FTC plans to intervene when there are misrepresentations about wages, costs, benefits, and terms of employment. Officials also hope to intervene with “unfair or misleading” algorithms, harsh contracts and anti-competitive behavior such as wage fixing and mergers that create monopolies.

The Commission said the classification of workers would not affect compliance, so companies cannot avoid repercussions by classifying people as contractors rather than employees. Violators may have to pay fines and change their practices, and the FTC may partner with other government agencies (such as the Department of Justice and the National Labor Relations Board) to address problems.

There are loopholes. It might be difficult for the FTC to prove algorithm-driven abuse, for example, and it’s unclear what non-contractual “restrictions” might affect workers’ freedom of movement. However, this could still serve as a warning to concert companies that might hide high operating costs, fight unionization efforts or collude with rivals to keep wages low.

The FTC isn’t alone in hoping to improve the lot of temporary workers. A bipartisan measure in Congress, introduced to the House and Senate in February, aims to provide portable benefits to temporary workers. Last year, the Department of Labor repealed a rule that made it difficult to protect the labor rights of those workers. States and cities have also filed lawsuits and made efforts to improve working conditions. However, the FTC policy provides an additional safeguard at the national level that could further discourage attempts to exploit the gig economy.

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