In the first half of 2023, city and state lawmakers continued to push for pay transparency, moved to secure pay rights for gig workers and approved novel expansions of paid leave laws.
Here, Law360 looks at these and other significant legislative developments so far this year. …
Third Worker Classification Emerging
Another persisting trend in wage and hour law is the adoption of state and municipal laws that grant gig workers pay protections and benefits that typically only employees can claim.
On May 15, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed H.B. 1570, which gives app-based drivers access to state paid family and medical leave starting in July 2024 through a pilot program.
Ride-hailing drivers in Washington already had some employee-like protections following the enactment of the Expand Fairness Act, which entitled those workers to pay floors. But that law also cemented the gig workers' independent contractor status.
New York City has pressed forward to provide minimum wage protections to app-based restaurant delivery workers.
App-based food delivery workers whose apps pay for all time connected to the app will earn $17.96, or about 30 cents per minute, excluding tips, starting July 12, according to the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection. Workers connected to apps that only pay for time on an active trip must earn about 50 cents per minute.
This niche area of wage and hour law is compelling because it is "creating sort of a third classification, if you will, something between being an employee and being an independent contractor," said Jeff Ruzal, a member of management-side firm Epstein Becker Green.
"It's not a classification per se, but it's kind of a hybrid approach. It blurs what is otherwise a relatively clear distinction," he said.