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Judge temporarily blocks minimum pay rates for NYC food delivery apps

Just one day after food delivery giants sued New York City over a proposed wage rule, a judge has temporarily blocked the minimum pay standard.
Uber Eats, DoorDash, Grubhub sue NYC over delivery worker pay rules
Posted at 11:03 AM, Jul 07, 2023

A judge temporarily blocked new minimum pay standards for New York City food delivery app workers Friday, scheduling a hearing for July 31 about the city's plan to increase the workers' earnings.

It was welcome news to food delivery services UberEats, DoorDash and Grubhub, who all sued the city Thursday. Their lawsuit seeks to block the new rules, which could nearly triple the wages for app-based food delivery workers in New York City.

The NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection issued the rule on June 12 that would raise the minimum pay rate to $17.96 per hour on July 12, and then increase it to nearly $20 per hour by April 2025. Pay would also be adjusted annually for inflation.

DoorDash and Grubhub filed a joint lawsuit, while UberEats and New York-based Relay Delivery filed separate challenges. The companies claim the rule would result in higher costs for consumers and a decrease in the total number of deliveries.

All three companies were hopeful about the delay Friday. In a statement to The Associated Press, DoorDash said the decision "puts us on the path towards the city establishing a more reasonable earnings standard that reflects how these platforms are used by New Yorkers."

But Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga said she was "extremely disappointed" with the move, saying the new pay rate would "help lift thousands of working New Yorkers and their families out of poverty."

SEE MORE: Uber Eats to deploy up to 2,000 robots to deliver food

New York City Mayor Eric Adams has commended the rule change, saying it will help workers and their families "access greater economic stability" and help sustain the city's "thriving restaurant industry."

"Getting Stuff Done for working people is what this administration is all about, and that includes some of the hardest working New Yorkers: our delivery workers," Adams said at a press conference announcing the new rules. "Our delivery workers have consistently delivered for us — now, we are delivering for them."

The rules have also drawn praise from several New York lawmakers who call it a significant step in recognizing the essential contributions of food delivery workers.

"Whether a pandemic or a cloud of smoke, they are out in the streets braving dangerous traffic to bring New Yorkers whatever they need," said New York State Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar. "Many of them are immigrants working day and night to achieve the American Dream. Just as they deliver for us, we will deliver for them."

New York has more than 60,000 delivery workers who make an average of $7.09 per hour (plus tips), according to city officials. Between March 2021 and May 2022, they say app deliveries accounted for 15% ($3.6 billion) of all restaurant sales.

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