DoorDash and Uber Eats issued statements this week announcing changes to their respective tipping policies in response to a new minimum wage increase for app-based food delivery workers in New York City.
Earlier this fall, the New York State Supreme Court ruled that “apps should immediately pay delivery workers the Minimum Pay Rate of at least $17.96 per hour,” according to the New York City Department of Consumer Worker Protection.
In a statement in late November, following the state Supreme Court decision, Vilda Vera Mayuga, commissioner of the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection, hailed the ruling, saying, “The minimum pay rate of at least $17.96 per hour will help lift thousands of New Yorkers and their families out of poverty, while still allowing flexibility for both apps and workers … We thank the court for making the right decision and thank the hundreds of delivery workers who fought for their right to earn a dignified wage.”
Maria Torres-Springer, deputy mayor for Housing, Economic Development, and Workforce, added separately, “Delivery workers are a critical part of our city’s workforce and play a critical role in our local economy, yet to date, they have not been able to earn a living wage. We are grateful for the appellate court’s decision today and expect the delivery apps to start implementing the minimum pay rate immediately. When we lift up working New Yorkers, the whole city succeeds.”
In what they said was a direct result of that ruling, DoorDash and Uber Eats announced plans on Monday for New York City customers that do away with the formerly standard tipping prompt on the checkout page of the apps and add a new service fee to each transaction. Customers can still choose to include a tip once the delivery has been completed, and both companies assured delivery drivers that they will receive 100% of those tips.
While some consumers unaware of the city’s changes may have been caught off guard, DoorDash made an extensive push to explain how its updates would allow it “to better balance the impact of bad policies in NYC for everyone who uses our platform.”
“As we have repeatedly made clear in recent months, the ill-conceived, extreme minimum pay rate for food delivery workers in New York City will have significant consequences for everyone who uses our platform,” DoorDash said in statement about its New York City customer experience. “Unfortunately, these regulations will significantly increase the costs of facilitating delivery in NYC and force us to make a number of operational changes, which is why we’re providing an update on what local consumers and Dashers will be seeing beginning today.”
When the earnings standard was announced in June, DoorDash issued a statement saying the outcome would create unpopular consequences for the delivery worker experience.
In order to meet the new minimum pay rate, DoorDash said at the time that its platform and others would “have to increase costs on each order or reduce services in New York City,” stating that other impacts of the coming changes could include fewer opportunities for Dashers to work when they choose, customers potentially priced out of orders, and possible jobs lost at local restaurants.
DoorDash, Uber Eats and Grubhub set out on a united front earlier this year to argue against the City Council measure in an effort to block such pay raises, but failed when New York Acting Supreme Court Justice Nicholas Moyne rejected those arguments.
“Policies have consequences, and these changes come as a direct result of the extreme earnings standard imposed in New York City,” a DoorDash spokesperson told “Good Morning America” on Thursday. “The City itself acknowledged that platforms could make changes to our tipping structure to help meet the significantly increased costs, which is exactly what we’re doing and therefore should come as no surprise.”
They added, “We’re hopeful that these changes will allow us to better balance the impact across everyone who uses our platform and continue providing the best possible experience as we explore further changes to the platform in the months to come.”
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