BROOKLYN, N.Y. (CN) – A disgruntled Brooklyn resident filed a federal class action Monday against on-demand food delivery service DoorDash, claiming he wanted to tip his delivery driver for good service, not subsidize that worker’s wages for the company.
A New York Times story earlier this month, in which a Metro reporter posed as a food deliveryman, helped pull back the curtain on delivery services’ sometimes questionable employee pay models, including that of DoorDash, which until last week used tips from customers — which the customers thought were going to the delivery workers for their service — to subsidize its own payments to those workers.
Customer Alan Arkin, who says he has made about 38 DoorDash purchases and left 38 tips for what the company calls “dashers,” is demanding compensatory and punitive damages for fraud. He’s represented by Oren Giskan of Giskan Solotaroff & Anderson.
“Had Plaintiff known that the exact tip entered on the DoorDash app was not being received by the Dasher as a wage enhancement for good service, and instead was being paid, in whole or in part, to DoorDash to offset its labor costs, Plaintiff would not have agreed to enter and pay a tip amount on the DoorDash app,” the complaint states.
Though the minimum wage in New York state is $15 an hour, on-demand delivery workers are classified as contractors, meaning their pay structure exists in a bit of a Wild West for wages.
The New York Times reported all the other major delivery services do give drivers their full tips.
Just days after the New York Times story was published, DoorDash announced it was changing its tipping policy.
Representatives for DoorDash did not immediately return a request for comment early Monday evening. Giskan also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.