Food delivery is ubiquitous in New York City. With an estimated 65,000 app-based delivery workers (or “deliveristas”) here, the industry plays a critical role in residents’ daily lives. But up until recently, these workers struggled to earn a living wage. That is now changing thanks to a recent court ruling.
$17.96 an hour before tips
In 2021, the New York City Council passed a series of bills to improve working conditions for deliveristas, including granting them access to restaurant bathrooms, mandating minimum payments per trip, and ensuring that tips get to the workers. The law was supposed to go into effect in January of this year, but companies like DoorDash, Uber and Grubhub sued to block it, arguing that it would irreparably harm their businesses.
However, the recent decision by a Manhattan judge requires app-based delivery companies (with some exceptions) to pay drivers in New York City at least $17.96 an hour before tips. , and the wage will increase to $19.96 an hour by the year 2025. Prior to this ruling, the average deliverista collected just $11 before tips.
What happens now?
The food delivery companies have been aggressive and vocal detractors of the law and may yet appeal the court’s decision.
In the meantime, if you are an app-based food delivery worker and are not being paid the appropriate wages, or are not receiving your earned tips, you may have grounds to pursue legal action. Consult a knowledgeable employment attorney to help you protect your rights under the new law.