Governor Kathy Hochul today announced an unprecedented settlement agreement between the New York State Department of Labor and Uber Technologies Inc., which resolves both past and future unemployment insurance contributions on behalf of Uber and Uber Eats drivers and couriers. Uber will begin making quarterly payments into the New York State Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund and make a retroactive payment to the UI Trust Fund for payments owed since 2013. New York is the first state in the country with which Uber has agreed to a settlement that addresses both past and future unemployment insurance liability.
"This unprecedented settlement with Uber sends a powerful message to working people: New York has your back," Governor Hochul said. "My administration is committed to standing up for workers and ensuring they get the wages and benefits they deserve. That's why our Department of Labor worked so aggressively to successfully secure a fair settlement on behalf of the people of New York."
Employers pay into the State’s UI Trust Fund on a quarterly basis, which funds the benefits paid to unemployed workers. NYSDOL maintains that Uber drivers and couriers are employees for purposes of unemployment insurance; and Uber maintains that they are independent contractors. Regardless of the characterization of employment status, NYSDOL and Uber agree that drivers and couriers eligible for unemployment benefits should receive them, and Uber should contribute to the State’s UI Trust Fund on their behalf.
New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, “Protecting workers is a top priority and Uber drivers and couriers are entitled to unemployment benefits when eligible, which is why we fought for this settlement. I applaud Uber for working with us to ensure their drivers are protected while also doing their part to safeguard New York’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.”
Uber Technologies, Inc. Senior Vice President & Chief Legal Officer Tony West said, “Because of forward-thinking leadership in New York State, Uber has partnered with the NYSDOL on a first-in-the-nation agreement that will ensure drivers continue to enjoy the independence and flexibility they value, while having access to important protections.”
Additional details, including the total dollar amount of the settlement, cannot be publicly disclosed due to federal and state laws and regulations that limit disclosure of confidential unemployment insurance data, including details about an employer’s unemployment insurance account.