March 22, 2024

Long-Awaited City Hall Delivery Worker Hub Unveiled

Delivery workers are slated to get a new rest hub outside City Hall.

City officials showed off designs for the planned delivery worker rest stop and hub that will replace a defunct newsstand in front of City Hall.

The Department of Parks and Recreation plans to tear down the vacant Koch-era kiosk on Broadway and install a slightly larger building offering nearly 50 e-bike battery chargers, a place to rest, and a small office space for some of the tens of thousands of app-based workers, advocates and officials told members of Manhattan’s Community Board 1 on Thursday night.

“[It works] sort of as a center of everything to make sure that the workers delivering for the city of New York stay safe and fed while they’re taking care of other New Yorkers,” said Ligia Guallpa, executive director of the Worker’s Justice Project said during the March 14 meeting of the board’s Landmarks and Preservation committee.

Parks hopes to build the new facility on the sidewalk outside City Hall between Murray Street and Park Place, according to a presentation [PDF], using $1 million in federal funding support from Sen. Chuck Schumer, along with another rest stop replacing a news stand outside the 72nd Street subway station on the Upper West Side.

In 2023, Worker’s Justice Project Executive Director Ligia Guallpa (center with Sen. Chuck Schumer and Mayor Adams) announced plans to turn vacant newsstands, like the one behind them, into charging hubs for delivery workers. That plan is rolling out slowly.File photo: Julianne Cuba

Schumer and Mayor Adams announced the projects in fall of 2022, but their implementation has lagged amid pushback by locals against the uptown facility, which also requires reviews from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The building will be three feet wider and five feet longer than the current newsstand, but the same height, according to Brooklyn-based designers Fantástica.

The Department of Transportation will also install bike racks and remove two adjacent car parking spots currently reserved for City Hall to create an “access zone” for delivery workers — who will have to contend with the local placard scofflaws and license-plate-less drivers.

DOT will remove two City Hall parking spots to create an ‘access zone.’Rendering: Fantástica
The proposal got mixed reviews at the CB1 committee, with some board members liking the project but not the building, while others called on the city and app companies to do more.

One resident said the billion-dollar businesses profiting off of the delivery labor should pitch in so that the city can build out infrastructure to meet the demand of the city’s estimated 60,000 delivery workers.

“This is a really nice project, but how many bikes can we really service or charge at one time. Is this really something that’s really meeting your true needs,” said Andrea Jue. “Delivery apps are making billions and billions of dollars and profiting off [the workers]. … I find it really galling.”

Another board member asked whether the DOT planned to install any safer bike access points in the street, since many cyclists currently cut through City Hall Park — which is legal for regular bikes but illegal for e-bikes.

The agency doesn’t plan to build a bike lane on Broadway, according to a rep, who suggested cyclists use the bus lane on the opposite side of the street and then cross over.

“There is no current plan for bike lanes on Broadway,” said DOT Manhattan Borough Commissioner Ed Pincar. “We’re very confident just with the way the intersection is designed, Broadway and Murray, that cyclists would come down southbound and then be able to come over, enter the access zone, use the Deliverista hub.”

The rest facility won’t include restrooms, which are already hard to find, another local lamented.

“The lack of lavatories is another factor that you encounter in this job constantly,” said Jared Sheer. “I don’t want perfection to be the enemy of the good, but I just wonder why, we have this funding, we have this opportunity, that’s something that couldn’t be incorporated for the public.”

The building has a connection to the electrical grid, but not the sewers, and adding that utility would jack up the cost, according to a Parks rep.

“To do that is hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars, extraordinarily expensive,” said David Cerron, an assistant commissioner at the agency.

Some board members disliked the modern look of the building and said it was infringing on the sidewalk.

“This location with this enlarged program is going to diminish the sidewalk, and it is the most inappropriate place to put something like this with this modernist structure in front of our City Hall,” said Vicky Cameron. “It is not conducive or appropriate design to be in front of our City Hall, I’m sorry. Even if you put a temple, I’m not going to support this, but it is an inappropriate structure, for an inappropriate place, I’m a definite no.”

The existing kiosk is not landmarked and is itself a prefab from the 1980s, even though it was made to look older, and one member suggested they shouldn’t be too precious about the current building.

“I’m willing to fight for authentic historic preservation, but a 1980s replica building is Disney,” said Gerald Forsburg.

Parks still needs approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission because of its location in a historic district, and the agency will seek that permit after an advisory vote by the community board at its full board meeting on March 26.

The city recently also debuted outdoor e-bike charging stations in the East Village, as part of its efforts to provide safer charging infrastructure amid the growing number of fires sparked by lithium-ion batteries.

The refueling station downtown will be a prefabricated structure with three modular sections: a small office, a six cabinets to charge around 50 bike batteries powered by the bike storage company Oonee, and a repair and tuneup section.

March 22, 2024

Courier Business Insurance: Real Life Courier Claims You Can Avoid

There are important lessons that can learned from real-life courier losses and courier business insurance. Here’s three examples of common claims and outcomes to help courier and same-day delivery owners avoid potential “potholes”, and develop better risk management strategies.

The following are portrayals of actual scenarios and claims, although courier identities have been concealed. Learn from these all-too-common mistakes.

Contract Woes – Being Underinsured Can Sting

A courier landed a contract with a logistics and air courier company to deliver electronics for a major computer maker. The courier agreed to indemnify the logistics firm for loss or damage arising out of the courier’s operations. He did not, however, inquire about the logistic company’s liability to its customers. Unfortunately, the courier assumed that his insurance, which covered the cost of replacing lost or damaged cargo, would be sufficient.

One day, several boxes valued at tens of thousands of dollars went missing. As it turned out, the contract between the logistics company and the computer maker specified that claims would be settled at retail value, not at cost. This left the courier underinsured by more than $10,000!

While the courier’s insurance coverage met or exceeded industry standards, their failure to dig into critical issues of liability and value when transporting valuable cargo was a costly mistake.

As couriers increasingly insert themselves into the mainstream of cargo transportation, it is dangerous to assume that business will always operate “as usual.” Often, it does not. Take time to conduct due diligence and properly insure your operation before getting involvement with other transportation, logistics and shipping companies.

The Missing Bag and Missing Contract Clause

A courier providing services to small financial institutions lost a bank bag. The first reaction of the customer’s CEO was panic: “This could cost hundreds of thousands due to potential exposure of sensitive client information!” The courier’s first reaction was relief, as he had purchased Errors and Omissions (E&O) liability coverage to protect the business in these situations.

Luckily, ultra-sensitive client data was not in the bag, but an ensuing review of the courier’s contract with its customer revealed that there was no clear language on which company would be responsible for the face value of checks that could not be reconstructed, and there was no maximum dollar cap on liability.

In the absence of a signed-off limit of liability, couriers can be held responsible for the full value of items transported.

For those checks unable to be “repaired” via reconstruction, the concern was that a court could hold the courier liable for face value. This led the courier to add a modest amount of face value insurance to the company policy.

Moving forward, the courier now presents this customer and others with an option for higher value coverage at an additional charge. Hopefully, the courier will also obtain signed releases from customers that opt not to purchase face value protection.

No Sign of Vehicle Signage

A courier service complained that its auto insurance claim payment was roughly $2,000 short of actual cost. The difference proved to be the cost of redoing custom vehicle signage that had been installed on the sides of the truck six months prior.

The auto insurance carrier treated this as a custom addition to the vehicle, much like a pickup camper top or specialized permanently installed radio or stereo equipment. Coverage for these additions is generally limited or excluded unless they are declared prior to a loss. The extra values are, of course, factored into the insurance rates you pay. No one had mentioned the new signage before, so it was not on record with the carrier and was therefore not covered in the claim.

The courier owner was understandably frustrated, but consider this: If you did a build-out in your offices and failed to report it to your property insurance carrier, would you expect the carrier to pay for replacing the build-out, or just the basic office property values that were on record?

Always a good idea to inform your insurance broker about signage and other vehicle enhancements that increase your vehicle’s value.

Risk Strategies Transportation Practice

Risk Strategies Transportation team works with over 2000 delivery and logistics companies of all shapes and sizes nationwide, specializing in the full range of insurance and risk management solutions for this industry: property & casualty, alternative risk solutions, employee benefits, IC risk programs, key person risk management, safety and accident prevention, executive and family risk, and financial services.

Want to learn more?
Connect with the Risk Strategies Transportation team at transportation@risk‐

The contents of this article are for general informational purposes only and Risk Strategies Company makes no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy or completeness of any information contained herein. Any recommendations contained herein are intended to provide insight based on currently available information for consideration and should be vetted against applicable legal and business needs before application to a specific client.

February 26, 2024

The New Gig Worker Law and Your Delivery Business – Look for 3 Key Changes

Biden’s Gig Worker Labor Rule: Effects on Last-Mile Delivery Businesses

The Biden administration recently announced a plan to redefine gig workers as employees under federal law. This has many in the last-mile industry asking, “what does this mean for me?”.

While headlines might suggest a seismic shift in how you run your business, there’s no need for immediate worry – it won’t affect everyone. However, the gig worker versus employee conversation is under the spotlight for a reason. It’s a system built on a loose foundation.

What’s the new gig worker rule?

The new regulation revises the definition of an “employee” under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The redefinition tightens the criteria for independent contractor (IC) classification. This could grant employee status to some who were previously excluded as gig workers.

The shift could lead to:

Increased costs
If the rule reclassifies your ICs as employees, you would be responsible for providing benefits like minimum wage, overtime pay, and healthcare benefits.
Operational changes
You might need to adjust your work model to ensure employees have more control over their schedules and tasks, potentially impacting efficiency.
Compliance challenges
Navigating the complexities of the new rule and ensuring proper worker classification could pose compliance issues, potentially requiring legal and administrative adjustments.

Shifting business models

You would have to re-evaluate your reliance on independent contractors and potentially explore alternative models, such as hiring full-time employees or partnering with different types of shipping logistics service providers.

New rule limitations
While it sounds scary, the rule has its limitations. It will only apply to some workers, hinging on a multi-pronged test that looks at factors including:

How does the company exert power over the worker’s daily activity?
Job performance
How long has the worker been performing duties for the business?
How much of the worker’s resources are they putting into the job?

This means many platform-based gigs like Uber or DoorDash, characterized by flexible schedules and minimal direct supervision, may still fall outside the “employee” classification. While some workers might see a shift in their status, the rest will likely remain unaffected.

A system on red alert

Despite the new rule’s exclusions, its very existence carries some weight. It represents explicit acknowledgment on the federal level of the mounting concerns surrounding the so-called “gig economy.” Once heralded for its flexibility and entrepreneurial spirit, the IC system now faces increased scrutiny. Gig workers often have precarious incomes, no benefits, and very little power to take legal action against the corporations with which they contract.

Escalating insurance premiums caused by frequent claims within the sector, as well as legislative initiatives for redefining ICs as employees bubbling up at the state level, paints a picture of a system likely to face ongoing pressure for reform.

Importance of risk management

This new rule underscores the need for a last-mile framework that safeguards worker wellbeing.
Many businesses hire ICs to save money, which can only get you so far in last-mile. Increased claim frequency and severity, compounded with nuclear verdicts, make skimping on safety and driver experience hazardous. Regardless of worker classification, there are things you can do now to mitigate risk and avoid costly accidents:

Implement robust safety procedures

Operational policies and procedures that enforce safety regulations are necessary. Follow up-to-date procedures to prepare drivers for all common challenges like route management and vehicle maintenance thoroughly.

Hire good drivers

Carefully assess the skills and experience of new hires, adhering to strict guidelines without exceptions. This ensures that unforeseen issues don’t appear during claims discovery by insurance adjusters. Additionally, offer competitive pay and benefits to retain top-tier drivers.

Invest in technology

Mandate four-way directional cameras and telematics to enhance driver performance. Utilize GPS for route optimization. It will boost operational efficiency and provide crucial data for overall improvement. This technology monitors driver behavior and safeguards against potential claims.

Stay current with an insurance broker

The new regulatory measures are only a modest step toward addressing systemic issues within the gig worker industry. While it may not trigger immediate changes for your business and labor force, it reveals cracks in the foundation.
Work with your broker to stay current regarding the latest last-mile regulations and to ensure you’re ready for anything around the bend.

Want to learn more? Connect with the Risk Strategies Transportation team at transportation@risk‐

About the author

Bryan Paulozzi specializes in insurance and risk management for courier, last mile delivery, expediting, freight forwarding, and brokering businesses. He and his team help transportation companies identify and mitigate safety risks, including those related to winter weather driving.

February 6, 2024

Final Rule Issued on Classifying Employees and Independent Contractors Under the FLSA

Employee or Independent Contractor Classification Under the Fair Labor Standards Act
The U.S. Department of Labor announced the issuance of a final rule to help employers and workers analyze whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The announcement follows a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on October 13, 2022, which led to thousands of comments from a diverse array of stakeholders that helped inform the regulatory updates.
The final rule, Employee or Independent Contractor Classification Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, provides guidance on whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor under the FLSA. Misclassification is a serious issue that denies employees’ rights and protections under federal labor laws and hurts the economy at-large. The Department believes this final rule will protect workers from misclassification, while at the same time providing a consistent approach for those businesses that engage (or wish to engage) with independent contractors.
It is the Department’s obligation to administer and enforce the FLSA to ensure that workers who should be covered under the Act are properly classified as employees. This final rule ensures that such workers receive the FLSA’s wage and hour protections, and that employers that comply with the law are not placed at a competitive disadvantage when competing against employers that misclassify employees. The final rule also aligns the department’s approach with longstanding judicial precedent, which will reduce confusion, improve compliance, and better protect working people.
Specifically, the final rule does the following:
  • Restores the multifactor, totality-of-the-circumstances analysis to assess whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor under the FLSA
  • Ensures that all factors are analyzed without assigning a predetermined weight to a particular factor or set of factors
  • Uses the longstanding interpretation of the economic reality factors. These factors include opportunity for profit or loss depending on managerial skill, investments by the worker and the potential employer, the degree of permanence of the work relationship, the nature and degree of control, the extent to which the work performed is an integral part of the potential employer’s business, and the worker’s skill and initiative
  • Rescinds the 2021 Independent Contractor Rule.

June 29, 2023

Strengthened Labor Protections for Warehouse Workers Takes Effect in New York

The New York state Labor Department will start to monitor stronger protections for warehouse workers in the state, including mandates they quickly receive data about their work speed and company-set quotas after legislation took effect Monday.

Gov. Kathy Hochul signed the Warehouse Worker Protection Act in December, which requires distribution centers to disclose work performance data to current and former employees and to the state. The bill, passed during last year’s legislative session, also protects workers from being fired or disciplined for failing to meet required quotas, or performance rules including not allowing breaks mandated under state labor law or being forced to work through meals.

“New York’s warehouse workers deserve to be treated with fairness, dignity, and respect and we are making a significant stride toward achieving that,” Hochul said in a statement Monday. “I was proud to sign the Warehouse Worker Protection Act to address unreasonable work quotas and provide warehouse workers with protections from retaliation by their employers. With this legislation now in effect, we are holding firm to our commitment to ensure fairer and safer workplaces for all New Yorkers.”

Employees can request information about their personal performance and quota at any time under the new law, and must receive the information from their employer within 14 calendar days. The changes also protect against retaliation for requesting the information or a company limiting employees’ use of restroom facilities to make quota.

The bolstered protections apply to warehouse distribution centers, or a company classified as warehousing and storage, merchant wholesalres, electronic shopping and mail-order houses and couriers and express delivery services. It excludes farm product warehousing and storage, according to the governor’s office.

“Our warehouse workers play a significant role in keeping our supply chain moving, and they deserve to be treated fairly and equitably,” state Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said in a statement. “I thank Gov. Hochul and the Legislature for putting the Warehouse Worker Protection Act in place to ensure these workers are not taken advantage of and are given the protections they deserve.”

Employees who suspect their employer is in violation of the new protections should request information about their required quota in writing and 90 days of data about their personal work speed, comparable aggregate work speed data for employees in similar positions, according to Hochul’s office.

“Warehouse workers suffer serious work-related injuries at a rate more than twice the average for all private industries,” said state AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento. “These workers routinely spend entire shifts speeding through tasks in an attempt to meet quotas mandated by their employers, all too often suffering musculoskeletal and repetitive stress injuries as a result. The Warehouse Worker Protection Act provides long overdue limits to protect warehouse workers from inhumane quotas, and to protect them from retaliation for asserting their rights under this law.”

May 10, 2023

New Jersey’s Mini-WARN Act Amendments, Including Mandatory Severance, Now in Effect

New Jersey’s Mini-WARN Act Amendments, Including Mandatory Severance, Now in Effect

On Jan. 10, 2023, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation (P.L. 2023 c.142) that implements the long-delayed 2020 amendments to New Jersey’s mini-WARN Act, the Millville Dallas Airmotive Plant Job Loss Notification Act (NJ WARN).

NJ WARN – like the federal WARN Act and other states’ mini-WARN Acts – requires larger employers to provide notice to employees in advance of a mass layoff, plant closing, or reduction-in-force. Failure to give advance notice typically results in the employer having to pay additional wages to the impacted employees.

The amendments to NJ WARN are unique in that they require employers to pay mandatory severance to employees terminated in a qualifying layoff, even if the employer provides timely notice to the employees. The amendments are in effect as of April 10, 2023. As a result, New Jersey employers planning layoffs must now comply with NJ WARN’s costly new requirements:

  • As amended, NJ WARN now applies to employers with at least 100 employees nationwide without regard to full-time or part-time status, years of employment, or hours worked per week. (NJ WARN previously did not count or consider part-time employees or employees employed for less than six months);
  • NJ WARN is now triggered by a termination of 50 or more employees in a 30-day period who “report to” a place of employment, or “Establishment.” Multiple rounds of layoffs within a 90-day period will be aggregated for this purpose unless the employer can demonstrate a separate cause for each round of layoffs. (NJ WARN previously was triggered by a termination of 500 or more employees or the termination of 50 or more employees representing 1/3 of the full-time employees at an Establishment);
  • The term “Establishment,” which used to mean a single, contiguous place of employment, has been expanded to include all locations within New Jersey. (This means that NJ WARN may be trigged by the termination of 50 employees working anywhere in New Jersey, including employees who may be located outside of New Jersey, but who “report to” a site in New Jersey);
  • The notice period is increased to 90 days. (Previously 60 days);
  • NJ WARN now requires that the employer pay one week of severance for each year of service to each terminated employee, automatically and without conditioning such severance on the employee’s execution of a release of employment claims. (This was previously the penalty for failure to give the required notice to employees, but now applies even if the employer gives timely notice of the layoff);
  • If the 90-day notice is not given, NJ WARN requires employers to pay an additional four weeks of severance pay to each terminated employee;
  • Employees may not waive their right to the severance pay under NJ WARN without state or court approval. However, the severance pay requirement may be satisfied in whole or in part by payment of severance, back pay, or penalties under other WARN Acts, agreements, or collective bargaining agreements.

These changes to NJ WARN were originally passed on Jan. 21, 2020 (P.L. 2019 C.423). However, on April 14, 2020, the New Jersey legislature delayed the effective date of the NJ WARN amendments until 90 days after the end of the pandemic-related state of emergency announced by Gov. Murphy in Executive Order 103. Executive Order 103 has never been lifted, and the state of emergency remains in effect in New Jersey. However, on Jan. 10, 2023, Gov. Murphy signed separate legislation (P.L. 2022 c.142) allowing the NJ WARN amendments to take effect despite the ongoing state of emergency.

Following these amendments, NJ WARN’s reach is much broader than federal WARN:

  • Federal WARN only applies to employers with 100 or more employees, excluding part-time employees working less than 20 hours per week and employees who have worked less than six months in the last year;
  • Federal WARN is triggered only by

– the closing of a single work site or facility, if it results in the termination of 50 or more employees in any 30-day period;

– the termination of 50 or more employees at a single work site or facility in any 30-day period, if they make up 1/3 or more of the employer’s work force; or

– the termination of 500 or more employees at a single work site or facility in any 30-day period;

– Like NJ WARN, multiple rounds of layoffs within a 90-day period will be aggregated to meet these employee thresholds.

  • The “site of employment” under federal WARN is limited to single offices, buildings, office campuses, or other contiguous workplaces, and terminated employees are not aggregated across facilities in separate locations;
  • The notice period under federal WARN is 60 days;
  • Federal WARN requires no severance payments to terminated employees, but if the 60-day notice is not given or is given late, federal WARN requires employers to pay back pay to each terminated employee for the full period of non-compliance;
  • Employees may not waive their rights under federal WARN in advance but may settle their claims under federal WARN after-the-fact, without state or court approval.

In light of New Jersey’s more expansive requirements, employers conducting any layoffs impacting New Jersey employees should review their workforce reduction plans and policies to ensure they remain compliant.

December 5, 2022

New York City Council Bill Introduction

New York City Council Bill Introduction

Our lobbyist has alerted us to the four bills below that the New York City Council has recently introduced. The Government Affairs Committee would like you to pay particular attention to Int 0824-2022.

Int 0819-2022 The bill would require all businesses that sell e-bikes, e-scooters and other
personal mobility devices powered by batteries, to post lithium-ion battery safety informational
aterials and guides. Such materials and guides would be required to be posted both in physical
stores and on online retail platforms. A violation would be subject to civil penalties ranging
from $150 to $350 per violation.

Int 0822-2022 This bill would require the commissioner of the Department of Consumer and
Worker Protection to establish and require a battery safety certification for mechanics of powered mobility devices, including e-bikes and e-scooters. The commissioner will establish the criteria
for this certification process, maintain and update a monthly list of all mechanics who are thereby certified and conduct outreach and education about this certification program.

Int 0826-2022 The use of non-compete agreements in contracts for freelance work, especially
in the fashion industry, can lead to unreasonable restrictions on freelancers being able to find
new work. This bill would prohibit persons from requiring freelance workers to enter into
non-compete agreements unless the hiring party agrees to compensate the freelance worker
during any period in which a non-compete agreement would restrict the freelancer from seeking
other work. This bill would also create a private right of action allowing freelancers to seek a declaratory judgment finding a non-compete agreement void and grant the Office of Labor Standards enforcement authority. The Corporation Counsel would also be able to investigate
and sue hiring parties who exhibit a pattern or practice of violations in this case.

Int 0824-2022 This bill would lower the monetary threshold for coverage under the Freelance
Isn’t Free Act from freelancers who provide services worth $800 or more in the immediately
preceding 120 days to those who provide services of $250 or more in the immediately preceding
120 days, and excepting certain licensed freelance workers from this lower threshold.

October 12, 2022

Proposed Rule: Employee or Independent Contractor Classification

Today, the U.S. Department of Labor announced the publication of a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), Employee or Independent Contractor Classification Under the Fair Labor Standards Act in the Federal Register.

Publication of the NPRM in the Federal Register starts the comment period that remains open for 45 days and closes on November 28, 2022. All comments submitted (including duplicate comments) become a matter of public record and will be posted without change to, including any personal information provided.

Learn More

This NPRM, Employee or Independent Contractor Classification Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, would:

  • Align the Department’s approach with courts’ interpretation of the FLSA and application of the economic reality test;
  • Restore the longstanding multifactor, totality-of-the-circumstances analysis to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor under the FLSA;
  • Ensure that all factors are analyzed without assigning any predetermined weight to any particular factor or set of facts;
  • Return to the longstanding interpretation of the factors, including the investment factor, control factor, profit or loss factor, and the integral factor, which considers whether the work is integral to the employer’s business; and
  • Rescind the 2021 Independent Contractor Rule.
Learn More

The Department invites comments from the public on the proposed rule. All comments must be received by 11:59 p.m. ET on November 28, 2022, to be considered in this rulemaking. Comments received after the comment period closes will not be considered. Comments and data may be submitted online or by mail.

Address written submissions to: Division of Regulations, Legislation, and Interpretation, Wage and Hour Division, U.S. Department of Labor, Room S-3502, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20210.

For more information on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Employee or Independent Contractor Classification Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, contact the Wage and Hour Division or call toll-free 1-866-4US-WAGE.

August 30, 2022

President Zogby Testifies at Congestive Pricing Public Hearing

On Tuesday, August 29, 2022, NYSMCA President Larry Zogby testied at the EA Central Business District Tolling Program Public Hearing. The video is below for viewing.


June 27, 2022

Independent Contractors Launch #WhatTheHellD0L (June 2022)


The campaign is a response to the U.S. Department of Labor’s plans to rewrite the rules for who can legally qualify as self-employed

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 13, 2022 — Several ad hoc groups of independent contractors nationwide have joined forces to launch  WhatTheHellDOL, a social media campaign created in response to the U.S. Department of Labor’s announcement that it plans to rewrite the rules for who can legally qualify as self-employed.

Fight For Freelancers USA, a nonpartisan, grassroots, self-funded, ad hoc group of independent contractors and small-business owners; Freelancers Against AB5, which represents independent contractors in hundreds of professions, and includes seniors, people of color, people with disabilities, the chronically ill, and family caregivers; and California Freelance Writers United, a nonpartisan, ad hoc coalition created to undo the damage caused to independent contractor journalists and writers by California’s Assembly Bill 5, are working together to launch the #WhatTheHellDOL campaign.

“This move by the U.S. Labor Department is the latest attempt to limit the choice of self-employment that has existed since the founding of the United States,” said Kim Kavin, a freelance writer from New Jersey who co-founded Fight For Freelancers. “The same people behind this move supported California’s Assembly Bill 5, which was such a disaster that less than a year later, lawmakers had to pass a wide-reaching emergency measure. California citizens then overwhelmingly voted to undo even more of it. Next, these same anti-freelancer forces tried and failed to get copycat bills passed in other states and in Congress. Most recently, a federal court told the U.S. Labor Department to stop breaking the law when moving toward
regulatory workarounds. Now, they’re trying again to attack our livelihoods. Seriously, what the hell, DOL?”

President Biden campaigned on a plan to use the same anti-freelancer ABC Test that underpins the failed California law as the basis for all labor, employment and tax law nationwide. U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh is now retweeting the same talking points that were used to pass California law back in 2019, and that have since proved to have little basis in fact or reality.

“To understand how destructive this anti-freelancer position is, people should read the Fight For Freelancers amicus brief that we recently co-signed, supporting a lawsuit that challenges California’s anti-freelancer law,” says Karen Anderson, founder of Freelancers Against AB5. “We continue to hope that the U.S. Supreme Court will step in and stop the catastrophe that happened in California from spreading nationwide.” The #WhatTheHellDOL campaign urges independent contractors from all walks of life to share stories on social media about why they choose self-employment. Some 70% to 85% of independent contractors prefer self-employment, according to government and private studies dating to 2015.

“The U.S. Labor Department is giving us only two minutes apiece to speak at its upcoming hearings about the independent contractor rulemaking,” says Maressa Brown, founder of California Freelance Writers United. “Not only do self-employed Americans deserve a real seat at the table, but lawmakers and regulators nationwide must stop threatening our chosen careers and livelihoods.”

#WhatTheHellDOL #FightForFreelancers

Media contact for Fight For Freelancers: Kim Kavin, ki*@ki******.com, 908-975-3031 @thekimkavin / @Freelancers_USA

Media contact for Freelancers Against AB5: Karen Anderson, 808-936-2668, 12******@ea*******.net

Media contact for California Freelance Writers United: Maressa Brown, ma***********@gm***.com

May 9, 2022

COVID Paid Sick Leave (April 30, 2022)

We wanted to remind you that in New York State, COVID Paid Sick Leave is still
in effect for employees who are ordered to quarantine or isolate due to
COVID-19 and are unable to work while in quarantine or isolation. Depending
on the size of the business, employers may be required to provide COVID Paid
Sick Leave to employees without requiring employees to first use accrued paid
time off.


All employees, regardless of the size of the business they work for, are entitled
to job protection upon returning to work from COVID Sick Leave. Employees
exercising these rights are protected under New York’s anti-retaliation laws.
To learn about what you can do if you were exposed, have symptoms, or test
positive for COVID, please click here


To find out more about your rights about COVID Sick Leave or to file a complaint, visit

May 9, 2022

NYC Amenda (and Delays Effective Date of) Salary Disclosure Law for Job, Promotion, and Transfer Advertisements (April 30, 2022)

NYC Amenda (and Delays Effective Date of)
Salary Disclosure Law for Job, Promotion, and Transfer Advertisements


Late last year, the New York City Council passed Int. No. 1208-B, now Local Law 32 of 2022,
which amended the City Human Rights Law (“HRL”) to require City employers with four or
more employees to include in job postings – including those for promotion or transfer
opportunities – the minimum and maximum salary offered for any position located within
New York City (“Law”). Failure to comply with the pay transparency requirements would
constitute an unlawful discriminatory practice under the HRL. As enacted, the Law was
scheduled to take effect on May 15, 2022, but that, and other provisions, have just been
amended. Yesterday, the City Council’s Committee on Civil and Human Rights passed
Int. No. 134-A, which implements several significant amendments to the Law, and this
afternoon the City Council passed the same (“Amendments”).


Specifically, the Amendments:

  • Extend the effective date of the Law to November 1, 2022;
  • Clarify that the Law extends to both hourly and salary employees;
  • Supplement the Law to reiterate that it does not apply to positions that
    “can not or will not be performed” in the City;
  • Restrict job applicants, rather than current employees, from suing
    covered employers; and
  • Bar penalties for first-time violations if an employer corrects the problem
    within 30 days.

The Amendments seek to balance the Law’s main purpose of helping to prevent
pay discrimination against women and minorities, while answering some of the
business community’s most urgent concerns. If you have any questions in
navigating this delicate balance, please feel free to contact the Pitta LLP
attorney with whom you work, or any of our other dedicated attorneys.

February 22, 2022

NYSDOL Whistelblower Law (February 22, 2022)

NYSDOL Whistleblower Law

The New York’s Whistleblower Law was expanded on January 22, 2022.

NYSDOL released a new notice that every workplace must post in a place frequented by employees.

January 4, 2022

NYC Business Vaccine Mandate Certificate (December 7, 2021)

To All Members,

Please see the link below for your business certificate posted by NYC Businesses to affirm adherence to the new law.

December 7, 2021

NYC Mandates COVID-19 Vaccinations for All Private-Sector Employees

As you may have heard, Mayor de Blasio announced this morning an expansion of the NYC vaccine mandate.  Details are still sketchy and I’ve not seen a new executive order issued as of yet, but here’s what we know so far.

Employers Subject to Current “Key to NYC” Mandate

  • This applies generally to employees and patrons of indoor portions of bars, restaurants, gyms and live entertainment venues.
  • As of 12/27, expands vaccine requirement from one to two doses for those aged 12 and over. The requirement is not “fully vaccinated” as defined by CDC – one doesn’t have to wait for 2 weeks after final dose to visit or work at these establishments.
  • As of 12/14, adds a new requirement for those 5-11 years old to have at least one vaccine dose.
  • You cannot test out of this requirement.  Medical and religious exemptions apply as they do currently.
  • These are the minimum requirements.  An establishment can require stricter standards, including that patrons and employees must be “fully vaccinated”.

 Other Private Employers To Which “Key to NYC” Does Not Apply

  • As of 12/27, mandates that all employees of private businesses must have at least one vaccine dose (doesn’t require two shots nor boosters).
  • Requirement will not be limited to certain industries.
  • No minimum employee requirement for mandate to apply.
  • I expect that one won’t be able to test out of this requirement absent a necessary accommodation, but awaiting further details.
  • These are the minimum requirements.  An employer can require stricter standards, including that employees must be “fully vaccinated”.
  • That’s all we know for now. More information is supposed to be available as of 12/15.

October 27, 2021

Adult Use Cannabis and the Workplace

Adult Use Cannabis and the Workplace

This document is intended to address some of the most common situations or questions in the workplace related to adult-use cannabis and the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (“MRTA”). This document does not address the medical use of cannabis. For further assistance with New York Labor Law and the MRTA, please visit New York State’s Office of Cannabis Management’s website at or consult with an appropriate professional.

August 12, 2021

New Jersey Senate Proposes Misclassification of Workers as Independent Contractors

S3920—Does NOT change the current “ABC “ Test in NJ but does contain new enforcement tools that the NJDOL deems necessary due to a past history of out of State employers, mainly construction subcontractors, who continue to ignore current laws and compliance efforts by NJDOL. The proposed changes include: expansion of NJDOL “Stop Work” orders to affect ALL work sites used by an employer rather than just the site where an alleged violation was found, would require payment of wages to workers affected by the “Stop Work “order for up to 10 days of the duration of the Order, increases fines for ignoring a “Stop Work “ order to $5K per day and empowers the Attorney General to seek injunctive relief in the courts against employers who continue to ignore compliance efforts by NJDOL. If passed NJDOL has NO plans to hire additional staff for enforcement other than State employees from other agencies or departments if the need arises in the future,

S3921—Creates an Office of Strategic Compliance with a $1M budget to coordinate all enforcement activities , including alleged misclassification, between various State/Federal agencies. They would also be empowered to review ALL applications to the State for any “direst business/financial/economic development assistance including job training grants, with the ability to deny access to those program when a passed history of alleged misclassification has been reported.

S3922—Legislation would empower the NJ Dept of Banking & Insurance to use the existing NJ Insurance Fraud Prevention Act to investigate employers who allegedly deny workers access to company benefits such as health or dental insurance as well as Workers Compensation coverage by misclassifying workers as independent contractors.

All three bills, may appear on the current legislative calendar which is schedule to end on June 30th, NYCMCA will provide additional information and details in the event that any of the measure outlined above make to a floor vote.

August 12, 2021

New York Health and Essential Rights Act

After passing the New York Health and Essential Rights Act (NY HERO ACT), the New York State Department of Labor (DOL) issued its “Model Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Plan.” The NY HERO ACT mandates that employers adopt the DOL’s model plan or establish an alternative plan that at least meets the DOL’s minimum requirements by August 5, 2021. What does this mean for your company?

Businesses Need to Act Now

  • By August 5, 2021, employers are required to adopt an Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Plan
  • By September 4, 2021, employers must notify and make their plan available to all employees
  • By November 1, 2021, employers with 10 or more employees must begin allowing employees to form joint labor management workplace safety committees

For more resources from the NYS DOL, visit their NY HERO ACT webpage.