Skip to main content

District 39

Brad Lander

Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Columbia Waterfront, Gowanus, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Borough Park, Kensington

Legislative package to protect essential workers includes paid sick leave for gig-workers, whistleblower protections and general protections against unfair firing, and premium pay 

NEW YORK — Council Member Brad Lander today joined in the announcement of NYC’s Essential Workers Bill of Rights, a package of legislation to provide essential workers with rights and protections as they work to keep New Yorkers fed, moving, supplied, and cared for during the COVID-19 pandemic:

“Every night, New Yorkers are cheering wildly to thank the people who are stocking shelves in our grocery stores, delivering food and supplies, driving people to work and appointments, and caring for sick New Yorkers in our hospitals and nursing homes.


Applying for Unemployment Insurance as a Freelancer

Freelancers, independent contractors, and self-employed people are eligible for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) passed in the federal stimulus package. From January 27, 2020 to December 30, 2020, individuals who are not otherwise eligible for benefits and are unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work because of the COVID-19 public health emergency may be eligible for PUA. 


Freelancers, artists, gig-workers, and other independent contractors lack many basic worker protections and access to a robust social safety net, leaving them particularly vulnerable to the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. Though not an exhaustive list, below is some information and resources aimed to help NYC-based freelancers and artists navigate these uncertain times.

Proposals included expanding paid sick leave to app-based workers and other misclassified workers, creating an emergency fund for undocumented workers, and reforming unemployment insurance requirements

NEW YORK — A wide coalition of worker justice advocates, joined by Council Member Brad Lander, held a virtual press conference to call for expansion of paid sick leave to gig workers and misclassified independent contractors, unemployment insurance expansion, and the establishment of a fund for workers who otherwise will not qualify for other assistance, such as undocumented workers and bona fide independent contractors.


Today, New York City Council Member Brad Lander announced his plan to introduce a bill to expand the New York City Earned Safe and Sick Time Act to extend paid sick leave to workers for gig companies, as well as other workers who have been misclassified as independent contractors. Such workers include Uber and Lyft drivers, Amazon Flex delivery drivers, food delivery workers, nail salon technicians, home care workers, janitors, and others.

NEW YORK, NY — Fast food workers, labor advocates, and community organizations rallied at City Hall Thursday ahead of a hearing on a package of legislation to protect fast food workers from being fired without just cause. New York City fast food workers are at frequent risk of being fired or having their hours reduced, without being given any reason or notice, forcing thousands of New York families to live in constant uncertainty and fear.


New York — An amendment to NYC’s Human Rights Law went into effect today to clarify that all freelancers and independent contractors are protected from discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Local Law 172, passed by the New York City Council in September 2019, will enable freelancers and independent contractors to turn the NYC Human Rights Commission to address harassment and discrimination based on their gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, immigration status, or other protected identity. 


USIC Workers Shine a Spotlight on Dangerous Conditions And Call for Codifying Fair Pay, Benefits, and Training for Utility Workers

New York, NY (December 16, 2019) – Underground safety workers testified Monday before the New York City Council Transportation Committee in favor of legislation to codify fair scheduling requirements and safety training for utility workers.