App-based delivery companies like DoorDash, Postmates, Shipt, Instacart, Grubhub, and Caviar are underpaying their drivers.
State and federal law requires employers to pay employees a minimum wage, overtime, and to reimburse employees for expenses the employees have to pay to work, like, for a driver, gas and car insurance. To avoid these costs, some companies “misclassify” their workers, calling them “independent contractors” instead of employees. Since the law only applies to employees and not to independent contractors, the companies can skirt the law by misclassifying their workers.
But California law defines an employee as, among other things, as someone that performs work in the usual course of the company’s business. This means that a company can’t legally misclassify a worker as an independent contractor unless the worker does work that is merely incidental to the company’s business. Think of it this way: a bakery that hires an electrician to fix an oven can pay the electrician as an independent contractor because fixing switches and wires is merely incidental to baking. But the same bakery can’t avoid paying its bakers as employees because they do the core work of the business.
The same goes for the app-based delivery companies. They make money by making deliveries. Their drivers make those deliveries, so they are legally the companies’ employees. This means that the companies must pay minimum wage, overtime, and reimburse expenses.
If you are a Los Angeles or San Francisco Bay Area-based driver for an app delivery company, then it is highly likely that you have a claim for underpayment of wages.
I have represented thousands of app delivery drivers in California and can help you get the money you are owed.