For most markets where DoorDash operates, customers are prompted to tip on the checkout screen, with a middle option already selected by default. If they want to, they can adjust the tip later from the status screen while awaiting their food, or even after it’s delivered. That’s changing today; while blaming New York City’s minimum wage increase for delivery workers, DoorDash announced that for “select markets, including New York City,” tipping is now exclusively a post-checkout option.
The company said the change is intended to “better balance the impact of” new costs resulting from the city’s change. It wrote that the new regulations will “force” it to raise fees, so the move is meant to “ensure our platform remains affordable for all New Yorkers.” The same company recently started testing warning customers their order might take longer when they choose not to tip at checkout.
DoorDash’s new policy and old complaints came after a new law in New York City increased the wages of delivery drivers to a minimum of $17.96 per hour, which a state appeals court upheld last week after the company and others tried to have the law overturned. DoorDash has not been a fan and insisted at a hearing in April and again in June, that it’s on the hook for more than the city’s newly mandated $17.96 per hour, writing that NYC dashers “will now earn at least $29.93 per hour of active time.” The emphasis is mine — the company doesn’t count the time Dashers wait between orders as on-the-clock work. Before the change, those workers earned a base pay rate of $7.09 per hour.
DoorDash pointedly claimed that its specious $30-per-hour rate is “twice NYC’s $15 minimum wage for other workers.” The NYC Consumer and Worker Protection Department explained in its study preceding the new law that the higher rate accounts for the extra tax burden DoorDash’s workers face as independent contractors.
The pay increase came after labor groups like Los Deliveristas Unidos and the Worker’s Justice Project spent years advocating for higher pay. In their petition for the pay increase, the Deliveristas point to the danger of delivery work, as well as its associated expenses, which they said can be as much as almost $17,000 per year.
DoorDash says it’s also pausing its “Dasher Priority Access” incentive program that feeds higher-paying work to the best-rated delivery workers. Because of the NYC minimum wage guarantee, the company says “the benefits offered by this program will not apply.”
DoorDash says the new tipping approach is effective today, just days after NYC Mayor Eric Adams issued a release saying “the apps should immediately pay delivery workers the minimum pay rate, as the New York State Supreme Court ruled on September 28, 2023.”
After all that writing, I’m famished. Maybe I’ll order some General Tso’s chicken tonight — with an extra tip for good measure.