‘On-demand’ Workers Flock to Albany in Support of Flexible Work Schedules

Yesterday, many advocates from all over the state came to voice their opposition to the ‘gig economy’ legislation that has been a focal point of the early legislative year. The workers opined that they enjoy the flexibility their current schedule allows them and they fear that if this legislation were to pass, much of that freedom would disappear.

The Democrats behind the proposal are adamant that many independent contractors are missing out on some of the protections that dependent workers receive, such as workers’ compensation coverage. Business owners are very concerned about the changes that would be required to their business models and the trickle-down effect this may have if these workers are reclassified.

There also exists a lot of confusion about how many independent contractors will be covered by this new bill. While tech companies like Uber and Grubhub seem to be the primary target, many other industries could be brought into this depending on the language. This will surely continue to be a hot topic of conversation, and an issue that the Association will keep a close eye on.

NYS Restaurant Association Testifies at ‘Ghost Kitchens’ Hearing

Thursday, the NYS Restaurant Association spoke at a New York City Council hearing held to learn about the growing trend of ‘ghost kitchens’ across the city. For those who may not be familiar, ‘ghost kitchens’ is the name given to businesses that operate solely on delivery, do not have a customer facing element and exist only on delivery platforms. We are also seeing that several different iterations of these businesses can exist out of the same commercial restaurant space.

The Association is not criticizing the existence of these new operations but rather highlighting why we have found ourselves in this position, it’s because over-regulation by the City has caused this business model to be necessary. Restaurants can barely make ends meet, and one way around that is to open these low-cost operations that can exist solely online. If the City wants to see the return of a vibrant full-service restaurant industry steps must be taken to ensure that restaurants can remain in business with fewer financial challenges than they face currently. If things do not change, we will see this happen more and more.
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