New York Court of Appeals Delivers News to Employers in Postmates Case: Couriers are Employees, Not Independent Contractors

April 6, 2020

The New York State Court of Appeals recently issued a decision in a closely-watched case that helps to clarify the landscape regarding independent contractors and employees in the gig economy.

In In the Matter of the Claim of Luis A. Vega v. Postmates Inc., decided on March 26, 2020, the Court of Appeals agreed that “substantial evidence” supported the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board’s decision that a courier for Postmates – a food delivery “app” that can be accessed via smartphone – was an employee, not an independent contractor, and thus Postmates had to make contributions to the unemployment insurance fund on his behalf. 

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