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Business groups: Don’t reclassify gig workers in New York

Business groups are urging lawmakers to not reclassify gig workers.

It’s a move that has already caused waves in California, where those workers were reclassified – putting employers of all types into a difficult situation.

At issue is a push to provide traditional labor benefits and collective bargaining rights to workers who provide services for apps like Uber, Lyft and Grubhub. Some of the companies involved in California are arguing that the new laws don’t apply to them.

Labor unions, including the New York AFL-CIO last year, have endorsed new protections for this class of worker in what’s become known as the “gig” or on-demand economy sector.

Business groups on the other hand – don’t agree.

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership, Business Council of New York State and Unshackle Upstate have all pushed back.

“But by trying to force a new and innovative industry to fit into a decades old employment model will only serve to hurt those who rely on it the most, and will harm small cities and rural areas upstate that have benefited from these new opportunities over the past several years,” they wrote in the letter to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins. “As you consider legislation, I urge you to think about a new solution that allows these workers to maintain their independence and ability to work on a flexible schedule while also ensuring that they are afforded basic protections.”