New York, NY– The New Jersey Labor Department has determined that Uber drivers in the state are employees, not independent contractors, who now can receive disability and unemployment insurance. The company owes New Jersey $650 million in unpaid contributions. The NJ DOL determination comes on the heels of California passing an ‘ABC test’ that creates a uniform set of standards for determining employee status for workers whether they are dispatched through an app or supervised in person. Although the company has refused to follow the law and is fighting to overturn it, there is consensus in a growing number of states that Uber drivers are employees under the widely accepted ABC test — and under the broad definitions in most state laws. States are empowered to make such determinations.
The New York Do It Right Employment Classification Test (NY DIRECT) Coalition is fighting for ‘ABC test’ legislation in New York State similar to what was passed in California. The coalition includes members of 32BJ SEIU, the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, Workers United, the National Employment Law Project, National Domestic Workers Alliance, Make the Road New York, the National Writers Unions, and The Legal Aid Society, among others.
The NY DIRECT Coalition issued the following statement:
The New Jersey Department of Labor did the right thing for Uber drivers.
We call on New York legislators to follow the examples set by New Jersey and California and ensure that the same employment laws apply to Uber as to any other company. Here in New York, workers and allies are organizing for ‘ABC test’ legislation to create one clear standard for determining employee status for all workers in the state.
California and New Jersey are holding Uber to account to the benefit of working families and the communities that rely on them. Now it’s New York’s turn.
What is the ‘ABC test’?
California recently passed ABC test legislation and we’re pushing for similar legislation in New York. The ABC test means that if someone performs work that is essential to the core purpose of a company, that worker is an employee of the company – regardless of whether they are dispatched through an app. We are calling on New York legislators to join us in supporting this well-proven model that will better protect thousands of workers as they support families and build communities in the state. New York has already passed the ABC test for the trucking and construction industries. Those bills passed by wide margins in the Senate and Assembly with bipartisan support. There is no reason why all workers shouldn’t share in the protections enjoyed by workers in those two sectors.
The NY Do It Right Employment Classification Test (DIRECT) Coalition is a group of workers, consumers, organizers, advocates and lawyers fighting to pass a Fair Play in Employment Act for New York, a law that could help create a clear process to determine workers’ coverage under state wage and hour and workers compensation laws.