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Bills expand protections for app-based delivery workers

The City Council passed a package of legislation last week designed to protect delivery works in the five boroughs. If Mayor Bill de Blasio signs the bills into law, it will represent one of the largest steps taken by New York City to protect app-based gig workers.
The bills — six in total — target delivery apps like Grubhub, Uber Eats, and Doordash, and will set minimum pay, allow workers to keep more of their tips, and limit how far workers can be asked to travel for deliveries.
The legislation was written in collaboration with Los Deliveristas Unidos, an organization of mostly immigrant app delivery workers fighting for better pay and rights in New York City.
Councilman Carlos Menchaca of Sunset Park, a longtime advocate for delivery workers in the City, authored one of the pieces of legislation, which would prohibit companies from charging delivery workers a fee to claim their pay.
“Additionally we made sure that restaurants treat these workers with basic decency by allowing these essential workers access to their bathrooms and ensure that delivery workers have the option to take only those delivery trips they deem safe and worthwhile,” he said during a recent interview.
Other bills would allow workers to set parameters on how far they’ll travel on delivery runs, while another would allow delivery workers to access bathrooms at restaurants they deliver food from.
“Delivery workers kept us alive and fed during the pandemic,” Menchaca continued. “We also saw them defy extreme weather during this brutal winter and during hurricane Ida while many of us stayed home. The fight is not over, however.
“We will continue to fight for their safety in our city by working with the NYPD so they can investigate thefts, confiscate stolen e-bikes, and protect workers while they work,” he added.
Speaker Corey Johnson, speaking in a press conference after the bills passed, said he hopes this first package of legislation will inspire future action by the incoming City Council class.
“New York will now be the first city in the country to make sure delivery workers are not exploited,” he said. “To make sure people are treated with dignity and respect, that they get their wages, and that they are not exploited by these multibillion dollar corporations.”

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