NYC Passes Legislation to Improve Conditions for Gig Workers

The series of bills sets minimum pay and gives employees bathroom access.

September 27, 2021

Delivery Worker in New York City

NEW YORK—New York City passed a package of six bills aimed to improve food delivery workers on-the-job conditions, reports the New York Times.

The bills prohibit food delivery apps and courier services from charging workers fees to receive their pay, set minimum payments per trip and mandate that apps disclose their gratuity policies. The measures also prohibit charging delivery workers for insulated food bags and stipulate that restaurant bathrooms must be available to delivery workers or otherwise subject to a fine. The bills also allow delivery workers to determine which deliveries they want to take without fear of retribution, as workers have been targeted by robbers.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if some of the large, multibillion-dollar corporations that are making a lot of money in New York City try to stop this,” Corey Johnson, the City Council speaker, told the New York Times. “My hope is that other cities will actually take action and other cities will join New York City in providing protections for delivery workers.”

Under the measures, delivery workers would still be classified as independent contractors, ineligible for workers’ compensation or unemployment benefits, two things that many gig workers say is necessary. Food delivery apps have fought to keep delivery workers as independent contractors, and last year in California, voters approved Proposition 22, which allows food delivery apps to continue classifying delivery workers as independent contractors.

Recently, DoorDash filed a lawsuit against the city of New York over a law that would require it to share customer information with restaurants, such as a customer’s name, phone number, email and delivery address, in order for restaurants to complete a customer’s order. The company also joined Uber and Grubhub in another lawsuit against New York City over a newly passed bill that permanently instates emergency delivery fee caps that were imposed during the pandemic.

NACS Magazine covered the tradeoffs between using third-party delivery services and using store-owned services in “Delivery Dilemma” in the September 2021 issue.

Register to attend the 2021 NACS Show October 5-8 at McCormick Place in Chicago and take advantage of the education sessions on foodservice, including these sessions developed by retailers for retailers: