News Detail

New York State of the State address: Gov. Andrew Cuomo calls some independent contractor labels “a fraud,” commits to exploring worker misclassification legislation in NY

On Wednesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) devoted a portion of his annual State of the State speech to discussing independent contractors and the so-called “gig economy.”

In his speech, Cuomo committed to advocating for legislation similar to California’s recently-enacted AB 5 that would reclassify many independent contractors as employees, making them eligible for benefits like overtime pay and healthcare. While the Governor’s speech did not go into detail as to what the new legislation could look like, in a booklet distributed after his speech, the Governor’s office said that “New York's workplaces are operating under a legal infrastructure that is over 100 years old and failing. New York will make sure that the rules of the road keep up.” The proposal went on to say that the governor would “introduce legislation to make sure all of New York's workers have necessary benefits and protections.”

 State Senators in New York have proposed to go even further than California and outlined plans to introduce legislation that would also allow independent contractors to unionize.

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