July 16 2012
Dear Members and Friends of Yoga for NY,
We went to Albany last Wednesday, July 11, with a mission: to save yoga as we know it in New York State.
As many of you know, the State has been scrutinizing yoga studios and organizations over the issue of Independent Contractor (IC) vs. Employee status. If their current actions stayed on track, many small and mid-sized studios would be forced to close.
Here's what happened:
-A group of studio owners and teachers presented their stories about the need for both IC and Employee structures so that studios won't be forced to close
-The Department of Labor representatives admitted they had never heard of some of the situations presented before and expressed a desire to help work these issues out.
In the next several months we will be pursuing the following:
1. Helping the Department of Labor redefine what it means to be an Independent Contractor versus Employee in the yoga world
2. Trying to confirm a moratorium on audits until these issues are clarified, including the potential forgiveness of fines that were inaccurately levied against studios
3. Creating a collaboration process so that the Department of Labor can work with us to create standards we can follow - that are accurate and will help businesses stay open
Warm thanks go to our representatives, who were either at the meeting in person and or by conference phone call to support yoga businesses in New York:
-Senator Bill Perkins
-Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal (conf. call)
-Cheyenne Rosenbaum, Representing City Councilwoman Gail Brewer
And equally warm thanks to the team from Yoga for NY who traveled with me to Albany for Wednesday's very important meeting:
-Alyssa Snow, Director and Founder MindBodySoulYoga (Washington Heights); Labor Committe Chair
-Dana Flynn, Owner of Laughing Lotus Yoga Center (Chelsea)
-Carrie Jacobsen & Anita Greber, Owners of East Meets West Yoga (Buffalo)
-MJ Watkins, Owner of NY Loves Yoga (Upper West Side); Labor Committee Member
-Maggie Solomon, Owner of Hot Yoga Paradise (Queens)
-Christine Chen, Teacher and non-yoga small business owner; Director of Communications, Yoga for NY
To keep up with the latest developments, "Like" us on Facebook, where we will be posting updates and news on these issues. And tell all your fellow yogis to join Yoga for NY. In numbers truly likes our strength.
Exec Dir. Yoga for NY