[By Kayla Simas]

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — New York has become the first state to provide benefits to Uber/Lyft drivers.

The bill was signed into law on Friday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and is the first-in-the-nation portable benefits fund of its kind. The fund is known as the Black Car Fund.

The recently passed bill builds upon New York’s long track record of being the nation’s leader in standing up for for-hire drivers. The new law helps expand the funding of benefits for drivers under the Black Car Fund.

“It’s a great day for New York’s hard working professional drivers,” said Brendan Sexton, executive director of Independent Drivers Guild. “New York has been the nation’s trailblazer in providing crucial benefits and protections for professional drivers, and this new law allows our state to lead the nation and expand on that success.”

The Black Car Fund added a death benefit back in 2017 for the families of drivers killed on the road.

In 2018, a fund launched free vision checks, glasses and telemedicine benefits to control workers’ compensation costs while increasing the safety and wellbeing of drivers, their passengers, and the public.

Earlier this year, the benefits extended to workers compensation, free flu shots, prescription discount cards, paid driver classes, accident assistance, legal assistance, major medical assistance, dental discount plan, and mental health counseling.

The new legislature will begin in January.

~source