Freelancers must be included in COVID-19 aid

Today, I sent a letter to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and New York State and City elected officials to outline the stakes for freelancers in this unprecedented moment in our history.

In the conversations around government economic support at the federal, state, and local levels across the United States, freelancers are being ignored. But we know that independent workers are under the greatest threat right now; at the best of times, freelancers operate without traditional employee protections like health benefits and unemployment insurance.

They do so because they believe their independence is worth the risk, but no person should be asked to weather a global event such as the COVID-19 pandemic alone. Any and all financial safety nets that are implemented in this moment of economic crisis must include freelancers.

Briefly, my letter lays out a four-point plan to support independent workers:

Establish a temporary emergency measure to provide zero-interest loans to New York’s small businesses, including freelancers.Ensure that freelancers have access to all emergency paid sick leave plans and family medical leave plans, regardless of their employment status.Establish disaster unemployment assistance programs that include all working freelancers and self-employed workers who have lost income

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