Part of what makes Uber, Lyft, Grubhub and other "gig economy" companies so profitable is that they have relatively few employees. The vast majority of these companies' workforces are made up of independent contractors. Since they are not employees, they are not entitled to minimum wage or overtime protections, much less workplace benefits such as workers' compensation, access to unemployment insurance, shared payroll tax liability or employer-sponsored healthcare.
Among the cases that the U.S. Supreme Court is deciding this term are three consolidated wage-and-hour cases. In each case, an employer required its employees to enter into arbitration agreements and waive their right to bring class-action lawsuits against the employer. While these types of agreements are commonplace, it is widely thought that many more employers would use such waivers if the Supreme Court determines that they are legal.