New city attorney David Chiu’s first big settlement means cash in the hands of some 4,500 local DoorDash drivers who had tips swiped and didn’t get mandated benefits, with some drivers getting more than $10,000.
It was about a year ago this time that the DoorDash founders became overnight billionaires via their splashy IPO, and the Champagne corks were still popping on their Prop. 22 election victory that enshrined gig economy drivers as independent contractors without benefits. But before Prop. 22 kicked in, DoorDash had already been caught red-handed in the tip theft of its drivers, and here in San Francisco, the company was apparently not in compliance with a local law setting minimums for worker health care coverage and sick leave, even for workers who were not classified as employees.
Prop. 22 did reshuffle their rules to some degree, though its constitutionality is still being litigated in the courts. But there was that period before Prop. 22 went into effect that they had been dashing their “Dashers” out of mandatory San Francisco health care and sick leave requirements. KPIX reports that new city attorney David Chiu has wrangled a $5.3 million settlement out of DoorDash, the largest settlement ever secured by a fairly obscure City Hall department called the San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE).
“We are living through an era of deep inequality, and nothing could be more important than ensuring workers are paid fairly and their benefits are safeguarded,” Chiu said in a release. “The City conducted a thorough, diligent investigation that resulted in this unprecedented settlement for San Francisco workers.”
This is not a precedent, it only covers the period between 2016 and 2020, and DoorDash was awarded an out so they don’t have to admit to any wrongdoing. But it’s a great payday for drivers as we head into the holidays. According to the Chronicle, “Most of the DoorDash settlement money will go directly to workers, most of whom will receive $500 to $1,500, although awards range up to $17,000, depending on how often couriers worked from 2016 to 2020.”
“Some workers are receiving payments over $10,000, which could be life-changing,” Chiu told the Chronicle.
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