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NY judge blocks minimum wage increase for delivery workers

Jazz Guy | Flickr

A New York judge blocked a minimum wage increase law for delivery workers in New York City on July 7, only days before the law was set to go into effect.

According to a report from The CITY, Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Nicholas Moyane issued a temporary restraining order one day after food delivery giants DoorDash Inc., Grubhub Holdings Inc., Uber Technologies Inc. and Relay Delivery filed a lawsuit against the Department of Consumers and Worker Protections over the new wage law.

DoorDash and Grubhub’s lawsuits argue the pay increase would see prices rise up to $5.18 per order, citing the DCWP’s own report.

The law, announced to the public last month, would increase wages for app delivery workers to $17.96 per hour. The pay bump would be followed by a nearly $20 per hour rate by April 2025.

Eli Scheinholtz, a spokesperson for DoorDash, issued a statement expressing approval of the judge’s decision.

“Today’s decision is an early and promising victory for consumers, local businesses, and delivery workers across New York City, protecting them from the harmful and lasting impacts of an extreme earnings standard that resulted from a fundamentally broken process,” Scheinholtz said. “We hope that this puts us on the path towards the city establishing a more reasonable earnings standard that reflects how these platforms are used by New Yorkers.”

New York City’s minimum wage law arrives at a time when demand for online meal deliveries surged during the COVID-19 pandemic. Demand for the services are higher than pre-COVID levels.

In a June 2023 press release, New York Mayor Eric Adams spoke on the importance of delivery workers to the city’s economy, praising them for their work ethic.

“‘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 in a statement. “Our delivery workers have consistently delivered for us — now, we are delivering for them. This new minimum pay rate, up by almost $13.00/hour, will guarantee these workers and their families can earn a living, access greater economic stability, and help keep our city’s legendary restaurant industry thriving.”

DCWP Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga echoed a similar sentiment.

“When the rate takes full effect, workers will make three times as much as they do now,” Mayuga said. I am proud that our city has fulfilled its promise to provide more stability and protections for 60,000 workers and get them a dignified pay rate.”

“These apps currently pay workers far below the minimum wage, and this pay rate would help lift thousands of working New Yorkers and their families out of poverty,” she added. “We look forward to a quick decision.”

The 60,000 workers that make up Manhattan’s food delivery force currently make $7.09 per hour, on average. The minimum wage law was originally supposed to go into effect on July 12.

The judge set a court hearing for July 31 to hear the food delivery giants’ case.

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Jahlil Rush
Jahlil Rush, Production Assistant
Jahlil Rush is a Production Assistant for The Ticker.
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