New York City is proposing a minimum pay rate of nearly $24 an hour for "deliveristas," the mostly young, male community of app-based restaurant delivery workers who criss-cross the city.
But the city is also openly acknowledging that the new minimum wage will make food deliveries more expensive for customers and may cut the apps' growth.
The proposal from the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection, billed as the first of its kind, would cover salary and expenses, as well as a payment to offset the delivery workers' lack of insurance.
The city estimates more than 60,000 workers would be eligible for the new rates, which would start at $17.87 an hour and rise to $23.82 an hour by the time of full implementation in April 2025. There will be a public hearing in December and a comment period as well before the rates can go into effect.
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"“This new proposed minimum pay rate would help ensure a fairer pay for delivery workers for third-party apps, providing more stability for 60,000 workers across our city," Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement.
A research study released by the city found that app food delivery workers are overwhelmingly young, male, and Hispanic or people of color.
The average worker is currently earning $11.12 an hour with tips but after expenses, the city added. One-third of those who deliver with e-bikes or mopeds have been assaulted while making a delivery, that same report found.
The city conceded that the app delivery companies may pass on their higher labor costs to users, and that when the new wage is fully implemented, it could increase the average cost of an order by more than $5.
"The Department also projects that restaurants will be mostly unaffected by the minimum pay rate but may see a modest increase in profits if consumers respond to higher app fees by purchasing directly from restaurants," the study noted.