In a decisive victory for gig workers on Thursday, the New York State Court of Appeal supported an earlier state decision, according to which Postmates workers insurance should count as employees and therefore unemployed. While the precarious nature of the gig economy has come under fire in recent years, the Covid 19 pandemic has highlighted the dangerous conditions this workforce faces with few, if any, legal safeguards or job security.
This is because postmates are involved. With other major gig economy players like Uber and Lyft, you often rely on the argument that their employees are independent contractors in order not to pay for the statutory employee benefits. Thanks to this decision, Postmates are now required to pay state unemployment insurance for each of their workers.
"Today's decision is a huge victory for thousands of gig workers across New York," Attorney General Letitia James said in a press release. "The courts have consolidated what we have all known for some time – delivery drivers are employees and are entitled to the same unemployment benefits that other employees can receive."
The state Unemployment insurance The Board of Appeal previously agreed with Luis Vega, a former courier from Postmates, that he should have received unemployment insurance benefits after the discharge began. The Court of Appeals upheld that, arguing that Postmates "dominates the essential aspects of its couriers' work by dictating which customers to deliver to, where the requested items are to be delivered, effectively limiting the time frame for delivery and all aspects pricing and control are controlled by payment. "This goes far beyond the" random control "that Postmates claimed about their couriers.
To support this idea that its couriers are more than independent contractors, Postmates started this one Monthly Health Fund set up for its workforce to cover medical and other medical expenses, and drivers, couriers, and other gig-economy workers remain at greatest risk due to the public nature of their jobs to infect with the novel corona virus and Spreading it – while many of them are unable to miss this at work due to their precarious financial situation.
"As the nation fights the spread of the corona virus and more and more workers are being laid off, Postmates drivers should know that they have the same safety net that millions of others in New York have today," continued James.