A ruling that Postmates Inc couriers in New York are the company’s employees and entitled to unemployment benefits could open the door for gig workers across the country to win legal protections that are not afforded to independent contractors, plaintiffs’ lawyers and worker advocates said.
Thursday’s decision by the New York Court of Appeals that Postmates is the employer of couriers for the purposes of state unemployment rules also likely applies under New York wage laws, said Shannon Liss-Riordan of Lichten & Liss-Riordan, who represents gig workers around the country in misclassification cases. State law guarantees minimum wage and overtime pay to employees and uses a similar multi-pronged test focused on control over working conditions to determine worker classification.
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