Courts Uphold New York City’s Minimum Wage Increase for Delivery Workers

The Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court upheld the law that raises the minimum wage for app-based transport workers in New York City by a large amount. The groundbreaking law sets a minimum wage of $17.96 an hour to begin with. By 2025, it will have risen to $19.96. Major third-party delivery apps, such as DoorDash, Uber, and Grubhub, have had their appeals turned down by this ruling.

The big delivery companies fought against the law at first in September, but it gives apps some freedom by letting them choose between hourly pay and pay based only on trip time. Companies must pay about 55 cents per minute for the second choice, which adds up to $33 per hour—more than double the city’s minimum wage for other jobs. The law gave the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection the power to look into and set a fair minimum wage for delivery workers in answer to a request from the City Council in September 2021.

DoorDash, Uber, and Grubhub all spoke out against the law, saying that it unfairly targeted their businesses and would cause people to lose their jobs because of higher wage costs. They also thought that tips would go down, which would change the way things were done before, where delivery drivers worked as independent contractors and could choose how to make tips.

DoorDash didn’t say anything, but a Grubhub representative said that the company is “evaluating next steps” in response to the final decision, which sounds like they’re looking at how much to pay delivery workers again. Uber was upset about the decision and brought up worries about job losses, less tipping, and messengers being able to work faster and take on more trips. They did, however, agree that the higher wage was a good thing because it gives messengers money to buy their own UL-certified e-bikes and batteries.

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