The Black Car Fund Operators Injury Compensation Fund (known today as The Black Car Fund) was signed into law by Gov. George Pataki in May 1999, creating workers’ compensation coverage for the independent drivers of black car companies – paid for by a nominal passenger surcharge on each ride. Since that time, the organization has added health, wellness and education-related benefits to more than 100,000 covered driver members.
“Over the years, we’ve been able to expand the benefits that we offer drivers,” explains Ira Goldstein, the Black Car Fund’s (BCF’s) executive director. “For example, we pay them to take certain classes, such as the New York City TLC-required, enhanced defensive driving class, where drivers are given $300. We also offer a wellness program, hands-only CPR, opportunities to learn additional safety tips about sharing the road with pedestrians and cyclists, and even health tips for drivers, which covers nutrition, stretching and other tips relevant for someone that may be seated for long periods of time. They receive $150 for taking that class. Outside of program offerings, drivers also get dental, vision, and telemedicine plans, as well as support for mental health and wellness.”
According to a Q&A that was published in media outlet, City & State, some of the newer benefits – including dental exams, cleanings and vision coverage – will end under legislation that expires at the end of 2022. The BCF has been lobbying for a renewal of the benefits currently in place before the end of this legislative session but has yet to see the legislation passed.
“We would like to see an extension for three years or more,” noted Goldstein. “Potentially, we would also like to take out the sunset provision permanently. We’re not a typical insurance or workers compensation carrier. We’re there to take care of the drivers and we take that mission seriously.”
Source: City & State