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Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

New York must immediately start paying unemployment benefits to ride-hailing drivers, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.

Why it matters: This is the latest victory for Uber and Lyft drivers who have waged a lengthy campaign pushing for benefits comparable to those received by traditional workers. Previous New York rulings have established that drivers are eligible for unemployment benefits.

Details: The ruling is a preliminary injunction, meaning the state must follow the order even while it appeals and litigation continues in the case, in which drivers sued New York over months-long delays in processing unemployment claims.

  • The New York Department of Labor must form a working group within seven days to begin working through the backlog of claims.
  • The judge also called out Uber and Lyft for not being forthcoming enough with driver earnings data to make claims processing faster, though ultimately determined that it shouldn't be a reason for the state to be so delayed in processing the claims.

From an Uber spokesperson:

Our current employment system is outdated and unfair because it requires that employees get benefits and protections, while independent workers who choose flexible work don’t. We fought for all workers to receive unemployment benefits in the CARES Act, we provided all data the NYDOL requested so they could give independent workers financial assistance, and we will continue to fight for all workers to get financial support—not just those doing a certain type of work.

Lyft declined to comment as it's not a party to the lawsuit, though it reiterated that it continues to work with the state's labor department on providing data.

Editor's note: The story has been updated with responses from Uber and Lyft and additional details from the judge's ruling.

Go deeper

How California's ballot could reshape Silicon Valley

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Voters in San Francisco, the surrounding Bay Area, and California at large will vote Tuesday on key issues affecting Silicon Valley.

Why it matters: At stake are industry issues like gig workers' employment status and internet privacy, as well as broader measures on business taxes and the region's housing crisis, which many view as driven by tech wealth.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
26 mins ago - Economy & Business

How GameStop exposed the market

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Retail traders have found a cheat code for the stock market, and barring some major action from regulatory authorities or a massive turn in their favored companies, they're going to keep using it to score "tendies" and turn Wall Street on its head.

What's happening: The share prices of companies like GameStop are rocketing higher, based largely on the social media organizing of a 3-million strong group of Redditors who are eagerly piling into companies that big hedge funds are short selling, or betting will fall in price.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
1 hour ago - Health

Who benefits from Biden's move to reopen ACA enrollment

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Nearly 15 million Americans who are currently uninsured are eligible for coverage on the Affordable Care Act marketplaces, and more than half of them would qualify for subsidies, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation brief.

Why it matters: President Biden is expected to announce today that he'll be reopening the marketplaces for a special enrollment period from Feb. 15 to May 15, but getting a significant number of people to sign up for coverage will likely require targeted outreach.