The Council will also vote on two environmental bills during Climate Week NYC
City Hall, NY – At the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, when restaurants remained closed for dining in New York, it was delivery workers who helped those businesses survive. These essential workers risked their own safety to bring New Yorkers food. Now the Council will vote on six bills to protect their rights, including legislation to make bathrooms in restaurants more accessible for delivery workers.
Another bill in this package would make the process of providing gratuities to delivery workers more transparent. Sadly, workers do not always receive the gratuities intended for them. This bill would prohibit food delivery apps from soliciting a tip from a customer unless they clearly disclose the amount or proportion of each tip that goes to the delivery worker
Another bill addresses their low wages. The bill requires the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) to conduct a study to determine what delivery workers should be paid considering their total income, expenses, required equipment, safety conditions, and other factors. Upon completion of the study, the bill would require DCWP to establish minimum payments required for delivery workers and to announce updates each year.
A fourth bill would establish standards for payment by prohibiting apps from charging delivery workers to receive payment of their wages and would also require that they pay their workers at least once a week. The fifth bill would require food apps to give delivery workers the opportunity to set a maximum distance per trip that they will travel, including parameters they can set around bridges or tunnels. Finally, the Council will vote on a bill that requires food delivery apps to give insulated bags free of charge to delivery workers who have completed at least six deliveries for the company.
In light of Climate Week NYC, the Council will also vote on two bills pertaining to Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP). The first bill would amend the current EPP laws to update certain standards and improve oversight and accountability in administering them. Most notably, it would require the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services to take action toward more urgent environmental objectives and require city agencies to calibrate their office equipment to achieve energy savings, among other requirements.
The second bill requires the City to report on background information about textile purchasing, use and disposal habits of city agencies over the last four years.
The Council will also vote on a bill that requires severance pay to hotel service employees in the event of a closure of a hotel to the public, provided that the hotel has not recalled at least 25% of its employees by October 11, 2021 and reopened to the public by November 1, 2021. It would also apply in the event of a mass layoff of at least 75% of employees. The severance pay would be $500 per week for up to 30 weeks.
Lastly, the Council will vote on a bill that would extend the Certificate of No Harassment pilot
Finally, the Council will vote on several land use,rules and finance items.
The Council will vote on a transparency resolution approving the new designation and changes in the designation of certain organizations to receive funding in the Expense Budget.
Additionally, the Council will vote on the following items:
Little Italy Restoration Apartments, in Council Member Margaret Chin’s district, which will receive a partial, 40-year Article XI tax exemption to preserve 152 units of affordable rental housing.
Manhattan Beach Housing, in Council District 48, which will receive a partial, 40-year Article XI tax exemption to preserve 150 units of affordable rental housing.
840 Atlantic Avenue – Vanderbilt Atlantic Holdings, LLC, seeks rezoning from M1-1 and R6B to C6-3X and related zoning text amendments to designate the Project Area as a Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Area in Appendix F of the Zoning Resolution and create Section 35-662 of the Zoning Resolution allowing special street wall regulations to apply to zoning lots along Atlantic Avenue in C6-3X zoning districts in Community Board 8, Brooklyn. These actions would facilitate the development of a proposed 18-story mixed-use development at the southeast corner of Atlantic Avenue and Vanderbilt Avenue, with approximately 320 units of housing, of which 54 units will be deeply affordable, 50,650 sqf commercial and 7,490 sqf community facility, in Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo’s district. The council modified the application from C6-3X to a blend of C6-3X, C6-3A, and C6-2A to establish transitions to the lower-density context east and south of the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and Vanderbilt Avenue. In addition, the MIH text amendment will be modified to strike Option 2, and add Option 1 and the Deep Affordability Option.
New York Public Library, Harlem Branch – Landmarks Preservation Commission’s designation is one of 67 circulating libraries constructed for the city’s three public library systems in the early 20th century with funding from steel magnate Andrew Carnegie. The elegant Classical Revival style building located at 9 West 124th Street, in South Central Harlem has been an important civic institution. It serves the community as a place to find recreational and educational resources as well as a space for civic engagement and cultural enrichment, in Council Member Bill Perkins’ district.
Kimlau War Memorial – Landmarks Preservation Commission’s designation is a ceremonial gateway located in Kimlau Square at the intersection of Chatham Square, Oliver Street, and East Broadway in Manhattan. The Memorial, sponsored by the Lieutenant B.R. Kimlau Chinese Memorial Post 1291 of the American Legion, honors Chinese American soldiers who died in action during World War II. It consists of a granite arch and a flanking pair of benches, which together create a unique blend of traditional Chinese architectural forms with a streamlined mid-century modern aesthetic. The Kimlau War Memorial has served as an important community monument for nearly 60 years and is the first New York City landmark that specifically recognizes Chinese American history and culture, in Council Member Margaret Chin’s district.
Aakawaxung Munahanung Archaeological Site – Landmarks Preservation Commission’s designation is a 20-acre site located within the City’s Conference House Park in Staten Island. It is associated with over 8,000 years of occupation by Indigenous Peoples and contains the region’s best-preserved known cultural complex and archaeological site associated with the Indigenous presence in New York City, in Council Member Joseph Borelli’s district.
RULES, PRIVILAGES AND ELECTIONS
The Council will consider the following nominations:
Simona Kwon to the New York City Board of Health.
Jenny Low to the New York City Board of Elections.
Julio Medina to theNew York City Board of Correction.
Herman Merritt to the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board; and
Patricia Marthone to the New York City Health + Hospitals Board of Directors.
CONSUMER AFFAIRS AND BUSINESS LICENSING
Establishes minimum payments
Int. 2294-A, sponsored by Council Member Brad Lander, will address the low and variable wages received by food delivery workers, which is influenced by a multitude of factors such as: peak or off-peak times or availability of enough delivery workers; willingness to accept trips; performance reviews; the neighborhood in which the food would be picked up or delivered; or the amount of idle times between trips, which, if substantial, can considerably lower the effective per hour wage for the worker.
“We shouldn’t have needed a pandemic, or a hurricane, for us to recognize that deliveristas are essential workers who deserve essential rights. The organizing of deliveristas and the hardships of this year have galvanized action to demand better pay, safety, and working conditions for workers who have been excluded from traditional labor protections. I’m proud to work with deliveristas, the Workers Justice Project, and my colleagues to develop this minimum pay legislation intro 2294A that, along with the other bills in this package, will get us closer to making these jobs safe and sustainable,” said Council Member Brad Lander.
This bill would require Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) to conduct a study to determine how much delivery workers must be paid for their work. DCWP will be required to promulgate rules establishing a method of determining minimum payments for delivery workers, by January 1, 2023.
Beginning February 1, 2024 and each year by February 1 thereafter, DCWP would be required to announce any update to the minimum payment method it has established. Any changes would go into effect on the following April 1. The Department would also be required to issue a report to the Speaker of the Council and the Mayor on the minimum payment standard, any amendment to the standard, and the effect of such minimum payment standard on food delivery workers and the food delivery industry.
Creates standards for payment
Int. 2296-A, sponsored by Council Member Carlos Menchaca, will address the problem of food delivery apps and couriers, like Relay, charging delivery workers to receive pay for their work, which can further reduce the often low-wage collected by these workers.
The bill would prohibit food delivery apps and couriers from charging delivery workers for the payment of their wages. It would also require the food apps and couriers pay their delivery workers for their work at least once per week.
Bathroom access for deliveristas
Int. 2298-A, sponsored by Council Member Carlina Rivera, will make toilet facilities in restaurants and other food service establishments more accessible for delivery workers, as a recent spate of news stories revealed that delivery workers sometimes waited hours to relieve themselves because they could not find an available bathroom during their workday.
“I am so grateful to the Workers Justice Project and Los Deliveristas Unidos for welcoming my colleagues and I into their movement and entrusting us with this package of legislation. For nearly two years, we have worked together in pursuit of rights, protections, and justice for New York City’s delivery workers. Today, in testament to the organizing power and determination of Los Deliveristas Unidos, this legislation comes to a historic vote,” said Council Member Carlina Rivera. “I thank all who have fought alongside us to ensure these often overlooked essential workers receive the respect they so clearly deserve.”
The Council previously passed a package of bills that included a requirement for food delivery apps to execute written agreements with the establishments they list on their platforms. This bill would enhance that requirement to mandate that the apps also include a provision in these contracts requiring restaurants and other food service establishments to make their toilet facilities available for delivery workers’ use, as long as the delivery worker seeks to access the facilities while picking up a food or beverage order for delivery.
A food service establishment would be permitted to restrict a delivery worker’s access to their toilet facilities only when doing so would require walking through the establishment’s kitchen, food prep area, storage area or utensil washing area, as set forth in Section 81.22 (d) of the Health Code; when accessing the toilet facility would create an obvious health and safety risk to the food delivery worker or to the establishment; or in other cases identified by DCWP through promulgated rules. A “toilet facility” is defined in the bill as the restroom the food service establishment provides for customers, or, if such a restroom is not provided for customers, the employee restroom.
Ensures gratuity policies
Int. 1846-A, sponsored by Council Member Margaret Chin, will make the process of providing gratuities to delivery workers more transparent, since workers claim they do not always receive the gratuities intended for them by the customer. It also ensures food delivery customers in New York City are better informed about whether and how their gratuities are provided to the individual hired to deliver their order.
“My bill 1846 requires food delivery apps to disclose a clear breakdown of the percentage of tips workers receive from customers and how their pay is calculated,” said Council Member Margaret Chin. “It is my hope that this package of oversight legislation allows for not just better-educated consumer choice, but also a more transparent compensation process for delivery workers. Delivery workers are vital to our modern food and beverage economy and we cannot allow tech companies to treat them as less than essential.”
For each order placed on a food delivery platform, the bill prohibits a food delivery app from soliciting a tip from a customer unless that app discloses conspicuously in plain language the amount or proportion of each gratuity that is provided to the delivery worker; and the manner in which gratuities are provided, whether immediately or not, and whether in cash or not. This information must be provided before or at the same time the gratuity is solicited from the customer, which helps the customer make an informed decision about how much to tip and may exert pressure on the food delivery app to adopt fair tipping policies.
For the delivery worker, this bill provides a number of additional protections. It would require food delivery apps to credit gratuities to the delivery worker. It would also mandate that the apps notify delivery workers whether a gratuity was added to the order, how much the gratuity was, whether the customer removed it from the bill and why, if a reason was provided. The apps would have to notify the delivery worker if any change was made to a gratuity. Additionally, each day the apps would be required to inform the delivery worker the total amount of compensation and gratuities earned by that worker the day before.
Distance and route limits
Int. 2289-A, sponsored by Council Member Justin Brannan, offers protections designed to ensure that delivery workers have the option to take only those delivery trips they deem safe and worthwhile, without being unduly pressured by the withholding of trip offers by the app, lower wages or negative performance reviews affecting their ability to receive future delivery opportunities.
This bill would require food apps and couriers to provide workers with the opportunity to set the following trip parameters: maximum distance per trip, from a restaurant, that they will travel; and that such worker will not accept trips over any bridges or tunnels, or over particular bridges or tunnels.
Apps and couriers would be obligated to allow their delivery workers to change these parameters at any time. Once these parameters are set, the app or courier would not be permitted to offer a delivery worker a trip inconsistent with the parameters, and could not penalize a delivery worker in any way for selecting or changing their parameters. Apps and couriers would also be required to provide the following information before the worker decides whether to accept the trip:
- The address where the food, beverage or other goods must be picked up;
- The estimated time and distance for the trip;
- The amount of any gratuity, if specified by the consumer; and
- The amount of compensation to be paid to the food delivery worker, excluding gratuity.
In addition, the bill would set forth various definitions; obligations on DCWP, the food delivery apps and the couriers; and enforcement options, including those available to the City and to the delivery workers themselves, that would apply to all bills relating to food delivery workers.
Requires insulated food delivery bags
Int. 2288-A, sponsored by Council Member Justin Brannan, addresses the practice of food delivery workers, who often make a low wage, being charged by the food delivery apps to obtain an insulated bag. Such a bag is arguably an essential purchase in order to successfully complete a food delivery, especially in cold weather.
This bill would require food delivery apps and couriers, such as Relay, to make available insulated bags to any delivery worker who has completed at least six deliveries for the company. The food delivery app or courier would not be permitted to charge their delivery worker any money for the bag.
In addition to the aforementioned requirements related to insulated bags, this bill would add a provision to the licensing scheme passed last month allowing DCWP to suspend, revoke, deny or refuse to renew a food delivery app license if any provision relating to this, current bill package was violated twice in the previous two years.
Updates environmentally preferable purchasing laws
Int. 2271-A, sponsored by Council Member Ben Kallos, would amend the Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) laws to update certain standards and improve oversight and accountability in administering them.
“We are in the midst of a climate emergency therefore, New York City government has a responsibility to make ensure that every penny of our budget that is going to the private sector puts the environment first,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “This legislation has the potential to make New York City an example to the rest of the world on how major cities can use their economic might to help the environment. Thank you to Speaker Johson for working with me on this and being committed to getting it passed.”
In 2005, the City Council passed five local laws which together created a multi-faceted procurement program to increase the City’s purchasing of environmentally preferable products. The bills advanced the City’s “green” procurement practices and authorized the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services (MOCS) to exercise authority over the implementation of those practices. Unfortunately, the standards created by those laws have not kept pace with technological developments and there have not been consistent updates to the standards over time.
Specifically, the bill would:
- Clarify definitions in the existing EPP laws, specify applicability of the EPP laws, identify specific exceptions, update some codified standards related to energy consumption, and require some new standards for furniture;
- Require contracting agencies to submit a report to the MOCS director whenever including an EPP specification in a solicitation would be inconsistent with the agency’s ability to procure the highest quality product at the lowest possible price;
- Require the MOCS director to promulgate rules, directives and guidance to promote more urgent environmental objectives;
- Require the MOCS director to post on the MOCS website its annual environmental procurement report, which would include a list of solicitations that include EPP- eligible products and which standards are applicable to such solicitations; any contracts that are not compliant with EPP standards; and a summary of the revisions to the EPP standards that have been made during the preceding two years, or an explanation of why such updates have not been made if no such updates were made;
- Prohibit agencies from purchasing or leasing any computer, server, tablet or other computer product unless it meets the federal Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) standards, unless no such standard applies to the products being purchased or such products are not available in sufficient quantities; and
- Require city agencies to calibrate their office equipment to achieve energy savings.
Reporting on agency purchasing of textiles and creating a task force to recommend updated guidelines
Int. 2272-A, sponsored by Council Member Ben Kallos, would require the City’s Director of Environmentally Preferable Purchasing to report details on the supply chain and source of agency-purchased textile goods. Additionally, this bill would establish a task force to identify and assess agency needs for textile goods, and make recommendations for environmentally preferable purchasing of textiles.
In 2005, the City Council codified environmentally preferable purchasing (EPP), directing City agencies to purchase goods and services that take into account environmental impact. Although conventional textiles leave a significant negative footprint on the environment, and in spite of the availability of superior and innovative alternatives in the emerging marketplace, the City has not implemented EPP for textiles, including for the uniforms of thousands of City employees. The proposed legislation aims to address this gap in EPP laws.
CONSUMER AFFAIRS AND BUSINESS LICENSING
Severance pay for hotel workers
Int. 2397-A, sponsored by Council Member Francisco Moya, will require severance pay for hotel service employees of a hotel with at least 100 rooms in the event of: 1) the closure of a hotel to the public, provided that the hotel has not, by October 11, 2021, recalled at least 25% of employees and reopened to the public by November 1, 2021; or 2) a mass layoff of at least 75% of employees. Employees eligible for severance pay would be owed $500 per week, for up to 30 weeks.
“New York City cannot have a fair and full economic recovery if it leaves behind out-of-work employees and families struggling to make ends meet, especially after having lost their federal unemployment benefits. The populations that make up the hospitality industry, the hotel work force, are precisely the communities hardest hit by COVID. This legislation is about protecting the livelihoods of these very workers, who are the backbone of NYC’s tourism economy, and incentivizing the revitalization of NYC’s hotel industry by getting workers back to work,” said NYC Council Member Francisco Moya.
This requirement would not apply to a hotel that has closed permanently and has converted or is in the process of converting to an alternate use, provided that employees are offered severance of at least 20 days pay per year of service and provided that the severance is specifically tied to the conversion. The obligation to provide severance would end when an employee is recalled, or, for a closed hotel, when the hotel reopens to the public and recalls 25% of employees.
HOUSING AND BUILDINGS
Extends certificate of no harassment pilot
Int. 2403, sponsored by Brad Lander, extend the Certificate of No Harassment (CONH) pilot created by local law number 1 for the year 2018 which is slated to expire on September 27, 2021 to October 31, 2021.