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New York Court of Appeals Delivers Win to Attorney General, Gig Worker Over Unemployment Benefits

  • New York AG Letitia James obtained a favorable ruling from the New York State Court of Appeals against the food-delivery company Postmates, Inc., holding that workers for the company are considered employees for the purposes of unemployment benefits.
  • A terminated Postmates courier applied for unemployment benefits and New York’s Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board found the courier was an employee and thus entitled to receive unemployment benefits. Postmates appealed, arguing that its couriers were independent contractors and that it did not exercise sufficient control over their work to create an employer-employee relationship.
  • In its decision, the Court of Appeals found that Postmates exercised sufficient control because it controlled all aspects of pricing, payment, and delivery timing and destination.