WCA Calls for Full Coverage for Livery Drivers
Medallion taxi drivers in New York City are covered by workers' compensation if they get hurt on the job. Black car drivers are too, through the Black Car Operators Insurance Fund. Livery drivers? Not so much. Due to legislation passed in January, 2010, livery drivers are only eligible for benefits in certain limited circumstances, generally involving injuries suffered due to criminal activity and those involving severe injury. Rather than expanding coverage for these drivers, the law actually reduced it.
The Legislature recently passed legislation that expands the geographic area in which livery drivers can legally pick up fares. Although the law envisions more work for livery drivers, it continues to treat them as second-class citizens for workers' compensation purposes.
The WCA supports full workers' compensation coverage for all workers. Livery drivers should have the same benefits available to them as medallion taxi drivers and black car drivers, and should not be left to shoulder the burden of medical expenses and lost wages following on-the-job injury.
On July 11, 2011, the WCA wrote to Governor Cuomo calling for full workers' compensation coverage for livery drivers. The letter is available here.