"...sounds like some of my friends' employers, as well as some of my past employers ... "
At least as a independent contractor, you can quit anytime you please without any kind of HR repercussions ... so, why don't you?
Why suffer the indignity of "risking your car or your life or for not putting time, gas, and resources into a company that doesn't give 2 poops about you."
Just quit ....
You Just slip out the back, Jack
Make a new plan, Stan
You don't need to be coy, Roy
Just get yourself free
Hop on the bus, Gus
You don't need to discuss much
Just drop off the key, Lee
And get yourself free
Not that I owe you any explanation of my life...but I've been sending resumes, cover letters, references, applications constantly networking on Linkedin and on a personal business website for over a year. I'll leave it at that. I entered Uber in 2014 when the money was actually decent to very good. There is NO money in this in the mid-sized market where I live anymore.