Dozens of Workers From Across the State Travel to Albany to Urge Lawmakers to Protect Their Flexibility

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, February 25, 2020
CONTACT: Jason Kaplan, kaplan@skdknick.com 

Potential Albany Legislation Threatens Economic Opportunity For Hundreds of Thousands of New Yorkers Who Rely On Flexible Work

New York, NY – Dozens of flexible workers from across New York State today joined with Flexible Work for New York – a diverse coalition of workers, app-based service platforms, business groups, and civic organizations – in Albany to urge lawmakers to protect their ability to work when, where and for however long they want. 

“We hope Albany lawmakers understand New Yorkers’ need for flexibility and avoid California-like legislation that would negatively impact the ability for hundreds of thousands of hardworking New Yorkers to earn money on their own schedule,” said Christina Fisher, spokesperson for Flexible Work for New York coalition. “New York has an opportunity to solidify its standing as a leader in supporting 21st century work by safeguarding the flexibility critical to thousands of workers’ lives today and ensuring protections for workers.” 

“Flexible work allows me to earn money on my own schedule so I can be there for my four kids while also pursuing a graduate degree,” said Tracy Christopher, a rideshare driver. “I’m in Albany today to tell legislators that there are thousands of people like me across New York State that rely on flexibility and to urge them to not pass legislation that threatens that.”

In California, a new law is causing massive uncertainty across the state’s economy, already affecting thousands of local businesses and families of flexible workers. As Albany lawmakers attempt to pass legislation mirroring the California law this legislative session, they must consider the unintended consequences. Such a law would threaten the freedom of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who work on the schedule that they choose, and could lead to set shifts, flat wages and limits on the number of people who can earn on these platforms. New York has the opportunity to consider worker protections without jeopardizing worker’s flexibility.

2017 Census data shows that more than 2.7 million independent contractors work in transportation and warehousing; 2.8 million contractors are in personal services (barbers, beauticians, nail technicians, and hairdressers); 2.1 in administrative and support services (includes call centers, hiring agencies and debt collection agencies); 1.7 million specialty trade contractors; and 1.3 million athletes and performing artists.

Other members of the Flexible Work for New York Coalition include The Business Council of New York State, Tech: NYC, The Buffalo Niagara Partnership, The Capital Region Chamber, Unshackle Upstate, Lyft, Uber, Postmates, the Internet Association, and more.

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Flexible Work for New York is a diverse coalition of app-based technology companies, business groups, and civic organizations from across New York State, which is leading the charge to protect workers’ rights to work when, where, and for however long they want. A full list of coalition members can be found at  nycoalition4independentwork.com.

Flexible Work for New York