California sparked a national debate about the rights of gig workers with last year’s passage of a landmark law that required companies like Uber and DoorDash to treat their drivers as employees, entitled to certain benefits and protections, rather than contractors. Now that debate is shifting to New York state, where the outcome could influence how the rest of the country deals with the issue.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is working with a group of lawmakers to pass a gig-worker bill this spring. But they’re trying to do so in a way that avoids the kind of legal challenge Uber, Lyft and other companies have mounted to the California law, known as AB5, which has stalled its implementation. Instead, Cuomo is setting up a taskforce of people to draft the New York law, which is expected to include at least one representative of the companies. That may not be enough to forestall a legal fight, however.