Assembly Holds Hearing to Examine Gig Economy Issue
The Assembly Labor Committee held a hearing today in Albany to further discuss the labor practices of gig economy companies like Uber, Lyft and Doordash. These companies classify drivers as independent contractors and not employees.  This hearing comes on the heels of a similar hearing that was held last month by Senator Savino in New York City where many union leaders were in attendance and spoke out on how they believe that business models like this are built to take advantage of workers.

The primary issue in the eyes of the unions is that workers tagged as independent contractors are treated as self-employed entrepreneurs who aren’t covered by minimum wage and overtime pay requirements. These workers also don’t get unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation benefits. They view this as a loophole that needs to be fixed.

Tech companies view the issue differently. By classifying workers in this way they are better able to provide the freedom these workers are looking for. Many of these companies have come together in a coalition called Flexible New York and have begun making the case that the government is trying to fix a problem that the workers do not want fixed. “New Yorkers rely on flexible work to start small businesses, care for loved ones, pursue education on their own time, and more,” the coalition said in a statement. “We urge State lawmakers to protect flexible, independent work and fight to expand protections for these New Yorkers.”

While this issue does not directly impact the restaurant industry, if a dramatic change were to be mandated the ramifications would certainly be felt by eateries around the state, especially those that rely on these companies for delivery. If the State were to pass legislation that mandates a reclassification, the business models of Ubereats, Grubhub and others would dramatically change, most likely bringing further price increases to restaurants.

The Association will continue to monitor this important issue as it will be sure to take center stage during this year’s legislative session.

For more issues that could make headlines during the legislative year, read this recent article by Crain's

ACTION ALERT: Contact Your Congressional Representative Regarding Restaurant Depreciation Tax Error
Unintentionally, the 2017 tax reform bill left improvements to your restaurant with a 39-year depreciation period instead of the 15-years Congress intended. Can you imagine eating in a restaurant that hadn’t been upgraded since 1980? What’s more, you are ineligible for one of the biggest benefits of the new tax law: 100% bonus depreciation for improvements from 2018 through the end of 2022. Bills have been introduced in both the House and Senate to fix this mistake.
Over the next three weeks, Congress is finalizing the legislative measures they aim to pass by the end of the year. They need to hear from constituents how critical it is that those bills fix the restaurant depreciation tax glitch.

Click here to take action and tell your lawmakers to fix this issue by passing the “Restoring Investments in Improvements Act” by the end of this year .
NYSRA Compliance Hotline
833.682.6411 | advocate@nysra.org