Warren Calls on DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats, and Instacart to Protect Workers' Health, Increase Pay to Compensate for Coronavirus Risks
Delivery companies misclassify workers as independent contractors, cutting them off from critical rights and protections like minimum wage and benefits during the coronavirus pandemic; "I urge you to rise to the imperative of this public health crisis by providing paid leave, fair compensation, and adequate health and safety protections for all your workers"
Washington, D.C. -- United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) sent letters to the CEOs of DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats, and Instacart, urging them to reclassify their delivery workers as employees, rather than independent contractors, and provide appropriate pay, benefits, and protections during the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. By continuing to misclassify these workers as independent contractors, the food delivery companies exclude their workers from critical labor rights and protections.
"Delivery workers are experiencing serious health and economic vulnerabilities as a result of their jobs, and your company is failing to provide appropriate and necessary protections," Senator Warren wrote. "I urge you to reclassify your delivery workers as employees, rather than independent contractors, and ensure they are provided a full suite of employee protections and benefits."
In her letter, Senator Warren calls on each company to do the following:
- Guarantee at least 14 days of paid leave time to all workers and allow them to take this leave if they have symptoms of or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or if they need to take care of children or other family members
- Provide protective equipment such as masks, gloves, and cleaning supplies at no cost to all delivery workers
- Allow employees to have access to the same safety options as customers, such as requesting "no contact delivery"
- Pay delivery workers a guaranteed minimum wage, and provide additional pay for the increased risk they are taking on by continuing to work during this pandemic
- Immediately share driver wage data with relevant state agencies to ensure workers who become unemployed can access unemployment relief without delay
"The coronavirus pandemic has illustrated how much your company is completely reliant on these workers to provide essential services to the public. In this public health emergency, it is more important than ever to fairly compensate these workers and provide the health and safety protections they deserve. I urge you to rise to the imperative of this public health crisis by providing paid leave, fair compensation, and adequate health and safety protections for all your workers," concluded the senator.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, Senator Warren has pressed the Trump Administration to respond effectively to deliver the robust set of resources needed to address this emergency. She recently unveiled detailed plans to increase diagnostic testing nationwide, and sounded the alarm alongside Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) over the Trump Administration's failure to deliver federal support for testing and care in Massachusetts. Earlier this week, she supported delivery workers in their strike for workers' rights and protection. Last week, she sent letters to McDonald's, Amazon, and Walmart to give employees access to 14 days of paid sick leave. Earlier this month, she put out a plan for getting relief directly to workers, families, and small businesses, and has fought to prioritize federal aid for keeping workers on payroll and helping hospitals, states and localities respond to the crisis -- before bailing out giant corporations.
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