Under the proposed changes to Rule 701, a five-year pilot program would allow internet platforms to issue equity to their workers, so long as it’s no more than 15 percent of the value of their compensation within a 12-month period. It must also be no bigger than $75,000 in value within a 36-month period. Companies would also be allowed to offer their workers registered securities using Form S-8 under the proposed amendments. 

Internet platforms relying on gig workers are getting flak not just for low pay, but also for not providing health insurance and vacation or sick time. The ability to compensate workers in stocks could be a way for them to offer bigger compensation without actually having to fork out cash. It could also be a way to get gig workers invested in a company’s performance, even if said company doesn’t offer them the usual employee benefits.