First annual increase in minimum pay rate for app-based restaurant delivery workers

Mayor Eric Adams announces first annual Increase In minimum pay rate for app-based restaurant delivery workers.
Photo courtesy Office of the Mayor of the City of New York

New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga on Monday announced that, effective immediately, the city’s minimum pay rate for app-based restaurant delivery workers is increasing to at least $19.56 per hour before tips.

The $19.56 rate reflects the 2024 phase-in rate of $18.96 and an inflation adjustment of 3.15 percent – up from an average of just $5.39 per hour before enforcement began.

When the rate is fully phased-in on April 1, 2025, Adams said workers will earn at least $19.96 per hour with an adjustment for inflation.

Since DCWP began enforcing the minimum pay rate in December 2023, apps have paid the city’s delivery workers $16.3 million more per week across the workforce – an increase of 165 percent – totaling an additional $847.6 million annually.

“Our delivery workers have consistently delivered for us – and today the city is delivering for them,” said Mayor Adams. “I was raised by a working mother who supported my five siblings and me, and there are thousands of delivery workers doing the same to support themselves and their families.

“And while wages have not kept up with the rising cost of living, since the new pay rate has been enforced, delivery workers have already seen a 165 percent increase in their pay per week,” he added. “This is what it looks like to stand with working-class New Yorkers and build a fairer economy.”

“The minimum pay rate has been enormously successful in raising wages for our city’s delivery workers and providing them greater means to support themselves and their families,” said DCWP Commissioner Mayuga. “Any delivery worker with questions about the minimum pay rate, or any of their other worker rights, should reach out to us. Thank you to our city’s tens of thousands of delivery workers for fighting for a dignified wage and to Mayor Adams for centering working-class New Yorkers in all that we do.”

Adams said DCWP is actively monitoring compliance, which includes analyzing monthly reporting from the apps.

Based on compliance data submitted by Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Grubhub, which together make up 95 percent of the market, workers are making a more livable wage. Delivery workers are earning $16.3 million per week more in wages.

These workers went from being paid a rate of $5.39 per hour before tips – far below the minimum wage – to earning at least $17.96 per hour before tips.

Adams said apps are using the workers’ time more efficiently while maintaining the same number of app-based delivery workers (over 60,000).

He said the number of orders per week and the number of workers performing deliveries have remained steady since enforcement of the minimum pay rate began, and the amount of time workers spent waiting for trips decreased.

The mayor said consumers and restaurants have not been negatively affected. There was no change in the number of deliveries performed by workers for Uber Eats, DoorDash, or Grubhub, which together average about 2.6 million deliveries a week, both before and after enforcing the rate.

In June 2023, the Adams administration announced the final minimum pay rule, effective Jul. 12, 2023, following a monthslong rulemaking process that included two public hearings and thousands of public comments.

In early July, the major delivery apps sued the city, seeking to stop the minimum pay rate from taking effect.

In September, the New York State Supreme Court ruled in the city’s favor, allowing enforcement of the minimum pay rate of $17.96 to begin.

The apps appealed the State Supreme Court’s ruling, and in late November, the Appellate Division, First Judicial Department denied the appeals, paving the way for DCWP to finally begin enforcing the minimum pay rate.

In September 2021, the New York City Council passed Local Law 115, requiring DCWP to study the pay and working conditions of app-based restaurant delivery workers and to establish a minimum pay rate for their work based on the study results.

DCWP published its study in 2022, which drew from data obtained from restaurant delivery apps, surveys distributed to delivery workers and restaurants, testimony, extensive discussions with stakeholders on all sides, and publicly available data.

Adams said this minimum pay rate is just one part of the city’s “holistic approach” to improving working conditions for delivery workers.

In his 2024 State of the City address, Mayor Adams announced plans to create the New York City Department of Sustainable Delivery, a first-in-the-nation regulatory entity to establish clear goals and guidelines for the future of delivery.

In February 2024, Adams and the New York City Department of Transportation announced five public e-battery charging locations as part of the city’s new, six-month pilot program to test safe, public charging of lithium-ion batteries by an initial group of 100 delivery workers.

The Adams administration has also launched a program for the first-of-its-kind street Deliveristas Hubs, utilizing existing infrastructure to provide a place for workers to rest and recharge.

Delivery Workers can visit DCWP’s Third-Party Food Delivery Services page or call 311 and say “delivery worker,” to learn more about the minimum pay rate. Workers can also submit questions or file complaints related to the minimum pay rate or other delivery worker laws in multiple languages online or by contacting 311.