A former Democratic councilman in Brooklyn will soon become the executive director of the Freelancers Union. He said that he intends to play a strong role in shaping the state’s proposed gig worker law, S6699A, which is currently before the Senate Labor Committee. To gather information pertinent to the legislation, he said that he will fly to the West Coast and consult supporters of a recently passed gig worker law that seeks to stop employers from classifying employees as contract workers.
In his position at the Freelancers Union, he said that he wants to avoid the problems emerging from the new legislation out west. Some freelancers have complained that they have been blacklisted by employers concerned that they will violate the new law and incur fines. He hopes that his conversations with other lawmakers will provide insights about the best way to benefit all workers. As the union’s new director, he said that he wants to balance the needs of freelancers happy with their work arrangements while still addressing the injustices experienced by people misclassified by employers.
Under the leadership of his predecessor, the Freelancers Union contributed to the passage of the Freelance Isn’t Free Act in New York City. This law established that freelancers have a right to a written contract and timely payment. Freelancers also gained legal protection from retaliation.
A leader within a union might want legal representation when forging contracts on behalf of members, enforcing contracts or investigating misconduct. An attorney could research state and federal employment laws and recommend how to address specific problems. Union representation also supports the process of developing a collective bargaining agreement. An attorney might investigate how proposed terms could work in practice and strive to spot hidden liabilities before an organization signs a contract.