New York City expands protections for delivery workers

by Abdulhaqq Obisesan Oladimeji
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Beginning Friday, new city laws take effect to protect delivery workers for apps like GrubHub and Uber Eats.

It marks the second roll out of new regulations to set labor standards for delivery app workers throughout the five boroughs.

Many Ramirez has been delivering food for apps like Relay and Door Dash for the last six years.

In that time, he has been advocating for more protections for himself and his colleagues while working for these apps.

“We work hard, we work long hours outside and the companies keep making more money,” he said. “The application never provided any secure things.”

Under the new regulations, delivery apps must now give details before a job is accepted, including the address, distance, pay and tip.

Workers have more rights too, they can now limit how far they are willing to deliver and refuse certain routes, without penalty.

Delivery workers must be paid weekly, allowed access to restaurant bathrooms and provided with a free insulated food delivery bag.

“It is the first laws for delivery workers in all the US, so it is good, but it is not enough,” explained Ramirez.

These latest laws are the second wave of new regulations for food delivery apps. Beginning in January, apps were required to be transparent about how much each customer tipped and workers’ total pay, including tips, from the previous day.

The fight for these workers’ rights picked up momentum after delivery workers were deemed essential during the pandemic.

“There were some of us that were on the ground through the entire pandemic and while others sheltered in place, and they reached out and decided to get delivery. You may have called Uber Eats, but they accomplished the feat,” said Mayor Eric Adams at an event Thursday celebrating the new regulations.

Ramirez says the fight for better rights is not over.

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