FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, February 5, 2020
As Legislature Holds Budget Hearings, Workers & Advocates Urge Lawmakers To Protect Flexible Work Proposals To Blanket Reclassify Workers Threaten Economic Opportunity For Hundreds Of Thousands Of New Yorkers
ALBANY, NY – Flexible workers from across New York State joined with Flexible Work for New York – a diverse coalition of workers, app-based technology companies, business groups, and civic organizations – for a press conference at the Legislative Office Building (LOB) to call on New York lawmakers to protect their right to work freely, and preserve their ability to work when, where and how they want.
In California, a new law is causing massive uncertainty across the state’s economy, particularly for those earning supplemental income on a diverse array of gig platforms. The law threatens the freedom of hundreds of thousands of workers to work on the schedule that they choose, and could lead instead to set shifts, flat pay and limits on the number of people who could earn on these platforms.
“California’s approach has produced significant uncertainty for broad sectors of the economy, and potentially left hundreds of thousands of people who choose flexible work through technology platforms out in the cold,” said Christina Fisher, spokesperson for the Flexible Work for New York coalition. “New York has a real opportunity to continue to be a leader as it considers any future legislative solutions and it is in no one’s interest to rush a solution for expediency – political or otherwise. While California acted quickly, New York can actually get it right.”
“I have held a number of traditional jobs as I’ve pursued my dream of wrestling full-time while supporting my daughter. However, the set weekly schedules, capped income, and lack of flexibility held me back. With flexible work, I can better pursue my wrestling dream, enjoy unlimited earning potential without risking my job to take on a last-minute gig or care for my daughter,” said Josh McFee, a professional wrestler who earns on Lyft. “As lawmakers consider potential legislation that would threaten the flexibility of thousands of New Yorkers, I hope they take into account workers like me who are working to provide for our families and live the life we want. Flexible work is a lifeline and helps me make my dreams come true.”
“Flexible work was my pathway to back to work after I had my daughter and until I found a full time job,” said Jakk Payn, a courier for Postmates. “It’s what got me centered and back to work, I still do it today because I like staying busy and having a way to make some extra cash.”
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.