Earlier this year when the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) was taking on California legislation (AB 5) that altered the way independent contractors were defined, executive vice president of advocacy Eben Peck warned advisors that similar moves to protect workers could pop up in other progressive states, such as New York, Oregon and Washington. Now, it seems, his prediction has come true. Senate Bill S6699A, sponsored by Robert Jackson aims “to reclassify more workers as employees rather than independent contractors in order for them to receive benefits such as healthcare and retirement.”
In a statement, ASTA says: “As expected, it looks like the fight over independent contractor (IC) status is moving to the Empire State. A bill was recently introduced in the New York State Senate that threatens the independent advisor model in the State. It looks a lot like California Assembly Bill 5, establishing the so-called "ABC test" to determine if a worker is an employee or an independent contractor, with no exemptions at the moment. It is critical that this legislation be amended to protect the independent advisor model that has existed in our industry for decades and provides opportunities for thousands of small business owners.
“We suspect other industries are already at work trying to get exempted, so now is the time to act even though the legislature doesn't come back into session until January. If you live in New York, please take two minutes to tell your state Senator to amend this legislation and protect New York small businesses!”
ASTA has created a template message that New York advisors can send to their State Senator.
When the bill arose in California, ASTA lobbied with the likes of the California Coalition of Travel Organizations (CCTO), Virtuoso and Signature Travel Network, and eventually secured an exemption for the travel industry.