Dying to Work in the Gig Economy

What goes into your coffee each morning? If you’re a Dunkin’ Donuts coffee aficionado, your easy answer is probably milk and sugar. The real answer: the blood, sweat and tears of a shift worker.

And two years ago, it happened to be someone’s life. Maria Fernandes, a 32-year-old Dunkin’ Donuts employee, who worked at three different franchise locations, died while napping in her car. Fernandes’ tragic story offers a chilling reminder of what extreme lengths low-wage shift workers go to make a livable income.

The struggle:

  • While some lack hours, others work for seven days in a row, or through the night.
  • The rush between multiple jobs to make ends meet.
  • It is nearly impossible to make a living wage with one gig, which means shift workers have to juggle multiple opportunities at the same time.
  • Unreliable schedules offer no choice but to take on more work.
  • How do you navigate which bills should be paid first and which ones can wait?

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