Annually every spring—until the COVID-19 pandemic which began in March 2020, professional sports teams turn to their own budding prospects. Rookie drafts garner media attention and propel the possibility of staggering salaries into the headlines. Undrafted free agents, for their part, begin searching for jobs. With a lesser celebrity profile, many American workers have themselves become free agents in an economy transformed by technology The static newspaper classified ads of the past have been joined by vast online platforms, such as TaskRabbit and Freelancer.com, that allow jobseekers to connect with individuals seeking a diverse range of services—from graphic design and data entry to home furniture assembly. Yet, this flexibility comes with a flipside, potentially placing workers on a path to economic insecurity and at the crossroads of a complicated legal debate about what rights and benefits they are due.



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