Watching Netflix Is a Real Job

Two Netflix contractors are filing lawsuits arguing that they should have been classified as employees.

Photo credit: Jamie, CC BY 2.0.

Today in gig economy news: Cigdem Akbay and Lawrence Moss are filing lawsuits against Netflix arguing that the work they performed for the company fell under employee classification.

Netflix is being sued by former professional binge-watchers

Netflix reportedly pays hundreds of people to screen its movies and TV shows, and choose the media used to promote them on the service. The army of binge-watchers are part of a clandestine operation, code-named “Project Beetlejuice.” Now, two former so-called “juicers” are suing Netflix over their compensation.


Akbay’s complaint argues that Netflix set her pay, deadlines, and assignments. Binge-watching for Netflix eventually became her full-time job. She worked there from 2011 to 2014, when she was allegedly let go a few months after telling her supervisor Netflix was her primary source of income. She and Moss said they worked more than 40 hours a week for Netflix at times.

This lawsuit is not without its complications, of course—starting with the fact that Netflix is arguing that Akbay and Moss’s Netflix contracts state all disputes have to go through arbitration. (Freelancers and contract workers regularly sign away their rights to a lawsuit as part of the conditions of employment.)

Still, I bet a lot of contractors will be eager to watch the next episode of this story as soon as it’s available.

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