Features, Health and Safety, Law and Politics, New York, Transportation

Uber Drivers Must be Covered by Disability & Unemployment

November 18, 2019

By Stephanie West

Newark, New Jersey –  New Jersey Uber drivers have a right to disability and unemployment benefits. New Jersey is sending a message – labor laws aren’t dictated by corporations.

As Bloomberg Law has reported, the New Jersey Department of Labor has found Uber drivers employees for the purposes of disability insurance and unemployment insurance. Uber is on the hook for $650 million for this mandated worker insurance coverage.

“The New Jersey Department of Labor’s initiative sends a message that even in markets where Uber and Lyft have tried to argue that driving for the company is only meant to be supplemental income and therefore drivers don’t need labor protections, states are willing to uphold 81 years of labor law to say all workers are entitled to equal rights under the law regardless of the number of hours worked or number of jobs held. It’s a stinging rebuke of the architects of the gig economy, and we hope it permeates across other sectors, said  NYTWA Executive Director Bhairavi Desai.
 
“As New Jersey upholds employee rights for Uber drivers and demands accountability from the company, New York is falling behind the curve. The New York State Department of Labor has, in fact, already found Uber and Lyft drivers to be employees for Unemployment Insurance, but has still not required the companies to submit to an audit and pay their share.  Instead, in New York, drivers seeking to collect the unemployment insurance they are entitled to still have to jump through hurdles. In fact, NYS taxpayer money is used by the state to pay the companies’ bill.” 

November 18, 2019

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