Yesterday, New York City passed a package of bills that guarantee minimum pay and improve workplace conditions for messengers of third-party food delivery companies like Grubhub, DoorDash, Seamless, and Uber Eats.
The sweeping legislation is the first of its kind in the US to regulate the multibillion-dollar food delivery industry.
Among other protections, the new laws ensure that:
- Messengers (drivers/couriers) must be paid at least once a week and cannot be charged by the company for payment of their wages.
- Messengers cannot be charged for insulation bags and other accessories.
- Messengers must receive gratuity credit and be informed of their total compensation daily. Companies can solicit tips from customers only if they disclose the messenger’s share and when it’s made available.
- Messengers must be provided ahead of each delivery with the pickup location, destination, and estimated time and distance of the trip.
- Messengers can limit the distance they travel for each delivery and reject trips that involve bridges or tunnels.
- Companies must include in each contract with a restaurant a provision allowing messengers bathroom use when picking up deliveries.
- The Department of Consumer and Worker Protection is required to establish minimum pay per trip for food delivery messengers.
Violation of these laws may incur fines and the suspension of a company’s license to operate in the city.
As of now, restaurants and other food services that employ messengers directly are not subject to the new laws. Their workers are protected by DOL, OSHA, and other federal, state, and local regulations.
Mayor de Blasio has voiced support for the six-bill package and is expected to sign it soon.