New York partner Jerry Hathaway was quoted in an article in the New York Law Journal titled “NYC Passes Minimum Wage for Uber, Lyft Drivers, Will Others Follow?” The article discusses whether New York City’s enactment of a minimum wage for Lyft and Uber drivers will spill over into other sectors of the gig economy or other cities and states.
Jerry comments that he is not certain that the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission had the authority to enact the rules. “If you look at the City Charter there’s an enumeration of powers that the Taxi and Limousine Commission shall have and Section 2303 of that charter lists what those things are. What I don’t see is the authority to regulate compensation of drivers,” Jerry said. “I’m sure that Uber and Lyft are looking pretty closely to see if there is a basis to challenge the code.”
Jerry also notes that he is unsure if rules like this will become applicable for other types of work in the gig economy. “I think the gig economy is a number of things. It’s new and it’s disruptive to a lot of models. Existing laws are not easily applied because it is so new,” Jerry said.