Reshaping the Legal Categories of Work

Digital Labor Platforms at the Borders of Labor Law


  • Eva Kocher Europa-Universität Viadrina



labor law, digital labor platform, employment, legal classification, market organizer


The article questions the fundamental paradigms of labor law in view of the challenges presented by digital platform work. It uses heuristic methods, namely legal doctrine and labor law theory, to show how legal concepts of employment have been informed by organization theory. It proposes taking lessons from organizational analyses of market organizing that have already addressed new organizational forms with some precision. This approach would facilitate the development of a consistent and effective regulatory design for digital labor platforms. The design would include two levels: First, regulation should modify the criteria and indicators for classifying workers, either in the employment category or in a new category, to capture indirect mechanisms of worker control such as feedback and rating systems. Second, the rights and obligations associated with labor law, as well as the participation and governance structures, must be reformulated to address indirect control and the social dynamics of virtual workplaces.


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How to Cite

Kocher, E. (2021). Reshaping the Legal Categories of Work: Digital Labor Platforms at the Borders of Labor Law. Weizenbaum Journal of the Digital Society, 1(1), w1.1.2.



Research Papers