New York City lawmakers on Thursday passed several bills to improve working conditions and set minimum wages for food delivery workers for companies such as Grubhub, DoorDash and Uber Eats.
The move makes New York City the first to pass comprehensive legislation that regulates the distribution industry, which has come under intense scrutiny during the pandemic and in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
Here are some of the protections provided in invoices that delivery services must respect:
- Drivers can set the maximum distance per trip they travel.
- Food delivery apps can’t charge couriers to pay their wages, and they must pay delivery staff at least once a week.
- Drivers can choose not to accept trips over bridges or tunnels.
- The apps require the driver to provide the location, destination, and estimated time and distance of the meal before the trip begins.
- Delivery services cannot charge drivers or couriers for cooler bags to deliver food.
- Food delivery apps cannot request a tip unless they disclose the amount that was paid to the delivery person and if it is immediately available or paid in cash.
- Apps should collect tips from workers and notify how much was added and if the customer removed the tip and why.
- Requests must inform the disbursing employee of the total compensation, including the bonus on a daily basis.
- Food delivery services should add a provision to the contract with the restaurant that allows the courier to use the washroom when the courier takes delivery.
A bill requires the Ministry of Consumer Protection and Labor to conduct a study on food delivery workers and establish rules on the minimum payment required per trip.
“We recognize the unique challenges faced by delivery people in New York City and share the goal of identifying policies that will help Dashers and workers like them,” said a spokesperson for DoorDash. “We will continue to work with all stakeholders, including city council, to identify ways to support all delivery people in New York City without unintended consequences.”
Grubhub said he supported the bills.
“These bills are common sense measures for restaurants and New York residents to support hard-working delivery people every day,” Grubhub spokesman Grant Klinzmann told CNBC. “Making sure they get a living wage and have access to a toilet isn’t just a good idea, it’s the right thing to do.
Lawmakers in other states have also attempted to protect workers and patrons of concerts.
Last month, a California court ruled that Proposition 22, a measure approved by a majority in November that exempted concert workers from state labor law, was unconstitutional. Proposal 22 proposed that workers in app-based food delivery and rideshare companies remain contractors and be entitled to certain benefits and protections, such as a minimum income.
In August, Chicago filed a lawsuit against DoorDash and Grubhub for allegedly using unfair business practices and defrauding customers. Both companies called the lawsuit “baseless”.
Meanwhile, Uber, DoorDash, and Grubhub recently sued New York City over a bill that limits the amount businesses can charge restaurants. In July, DoorDash and Grubhub sued San Francisco after the city introduced a permanent 15% cap on delivery charges.
And DoorDash filed a separate lawsuit against New York City earlier this month, forcing delivery companies to share more customer data with restaurants.
An Uber spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.
CNBC’s Lauren Feiner contributed to this report.