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New minimum pay rates for NYC app-based food delivery workers are delayed

City officials recently announced plans to substantially increase earnings for those workers in the coming years to provide them with more financial stability

In this March 16, 2020 file photo, a delivery worker rides his bicycle along a path on the West Side Highway in New York.
In this March 16, 2020 file photo, a delivery worker rides his bicycle along a path on the West Side Highway in New York.John Minchillo (AP)

A judge Friday ordered New York City to temporarily delay new minimum pay standards for app-based food delivery workers, a day after being sued by Uber Eats, DoorDash and Grubhub.

City officials recently announced plans to substantially increase earnings for those workers in the coming years to provide them with more financial stability. The law was set to take effect July 12 with an initial increased pay rate of $17.96 an hour.

But food delivery services DoorDash, Grubhub and Uber, along with New York-based Relay Delivery, sued Thursday in state Supreme Court in Manhattan. The companies claimed the city’s rule-making process was flawed and that higher costs would be passed along to consumers.

Judge Nicholas Moyne on Friday ordered a temporary delay on enacting the new standard pending a hearing on July 31.

The food delivery giants praised the order.

“We are pleased with the judge’s decision today to delay implementation of a rule that, if allowed to stand, will have serious adverse consequences for delivery partners, consumers and independent businesses,” Grubhub said in a prepared statement.

DoorDash said in a statement that the company hoped the decision “puts us on the path towards the city establishing a more reasonable earnings standard that reflects how these platforms are used by New Yorkers.”

An Uber spokesperson said the company wants to work with the city and others “to figure out a minimum pay rule that doesn’t have devastating consequences for couriers, consumers and restaurants.”

Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga said she was “extremely disappointed” with the delay.

“These apps currently pay workers far below the minimum wage, and this pay rate would help lift thousands of working New Yorkers and their families out of poverty,” she said in a statement. “We look forward to a quick decision so that the dignified pay rate that workers deserve to earn is not delayed any more than necessary.”

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