Friday, a New York state judge ruled in favor of three big food delivery companies and a local company after they sued to block a new law in NYC that would have increased the minimum wage for delivery drivers who work for apps like Uber Eats or Postmates to almost $18 per hour.
On Thursday, Uber Eats, DoorDash, Grubhub, and local company Relay Delivery, filed a lawsuit against New York City in an effort to prevent the enforcement of recently introduced minimum pay regulations for food delivery workers.
DoorDash and Grubhub collaborated to file a lawsuit, while Uber and New York-based Relay Delivery each filed separate lawsuits.
The law, which was scheduled to go into effect next week, would have required these companies to set a minimum pay rate of $17.96 per hour, excluding tips and implement a second raise to nearly $20 an hour in April 2025.
New York State Supreme Court Justice Nicholas Moyne’s decision temporarily stops the law from going into effect, which is a setback for the growing movement to improve employment rights for these workers. According to the city, New York’s more than 60,000 delivery workers currently make an average of $7.09 an hour.
Moyne said the new law cannot be enforced until the lawyers representing both New York City and the app-delivery companies present their arguments in writing. Another court hearing is set for July 31st.
“The court is going to issue an order temporarily enjoining the statute from being effective pending the hearing,” Moyne said Friday, after hearing from lawyers for the four companies as well as a lawyer for the city. “The court is issuing this temporary restraining order based on a concern of the possibility of irreparable harm, and to preserve the status quo.”
Following the hearing, Uber spokesperson Josh Gold said, “We hope to use this time to work with the city and all stakeholders to figure out a minimum pay rule that doesn’t have devastating consequences for couriers, consumers and restaurants”
“We are extremely disappointed that the apps are delaying the implementation of the minimum pay rate,” Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga said in a statement after the hearing. “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.”
The new rule would allow food delivery services to have flexibility in determining the payment structure for new workers. Companies can opt to pay based on a per-trip, per-hour, or another company-defined policy, as long as the earnings meet the minimum pay rate set by the city.