Column: Protecting NYC delivery app workers

Photo Silvio Pacifico
At the previous City Council meeting, I introduced new legislation to protect food app delivery workers throughout the city.
Food delivery workers, in the event of an accident, are generally uncovered. Personal insurance typically doesn’t pay out for commercial vehicle use, and the apps that these workers technically contract for, don’t all offer commercial coverage. This leaves our couriers, a large portion of whom are low-income, with a tricky dilemma: pay for commercial liability insurance out-of-pocket or forego it entirely.
The bill I just introduced, alongside Councilman Francisco Moya of Queens — who partnered with me on several packages protecting small business restaurants from predator food app practices — will require that the apps pay any and all damages incurred by a courier (including non-auto) in an accident. This is an amenity that should have been provided as industry standard from the beginning, and as your elected city representatives we have an obligation to protect city delivery workers from a financially ruinous situation.
A recent study from Cornell found that 49% of delivery workers have been involved in some kind of crash, and 75% of those workers report that they paid for medical expenses related to crashes out of their own wallets.
This bill follows a package of bills I supported several months ago that conferred new rights onto food app delivery workers, including minimum standards of pay, bathroom use rights, and limits on trip distance. I look forward to following this bill through the legislative process.
For questions related to the district or legislation, please contact my office at either MGjonaj@council.nyc.gov or at (718) 931-1721. It is a pleasure to serve the proud residents of Council District 13. Be well and stay safe.

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