Food Couriers Say Delivery Services Are Screwing Them Out of Pay

Food couriers’ jobs aren’t tough just because they’re schlepping soup around in torrential rainstorms and 12 inches of snow — they’re also generally working as independent contractors à la Uber drivers and other gig-economy workers, meaning their employer legally owes them almost nothing (hourly pay, yes; but forget health or retirement benefits). Now, this model is increasingly being called out in court, and the latest challenge involves Relay Delivery, a service that works with the Meatball Shop, Pinkberry, Hale and Hearty, and several other New York City restaurants. A new complaint filed with the state’s Labor Department accuses the service of committing wage theft by classifying its workers as contractors and paying them $7.50 an hour — a full 80 cents below the state’s tipped minimum wage.

The craziest part of the complaint might be who filed it: Homer Logistics, a big-time rival (its client list reads very similarly: Melt Shop, Chop’t, Dos Toros).


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