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Delivery Workers Band Together to Fight for Their Rights

Delivery Workers Band Together to Fight for Their RightsThe COVID-19 Pandemic changed everyone’s lives.  Some changes, like working from home, online schooling, and social distancing, became prominent topics of everyday conversation.  Now, while restrictions continue to lessen on a seemingly daily basis, there is one group of people whom many took for granted during the height of the pandemic.  Those people are the hard working and often forgotten delivery workers.  Many of these workers are immigrants and English is not their first language, making the day-to-day job more difficult where there are often barriers to communication.  To make matters worse, many app-based delivery services only provide contracts, legally binding between those companies and delivery workers, in English.  Of course, this makes it more difficult for many delivery workers to fully understand what they are agreeing to from the start.  But now, a group called Los Deliveristas Unidos, a collection of delivery workers spawned by the Workers Justice Project, is advocating for changes to better the lives and working conditions of delivery workers.

Things that people often take for granted, like having access to a bathroom, an understanding of how much you will get paid, and a place to take a break during your workday, are completely out of reach for most delivery workers.  Oftentimes, restaurants even deny delivery workers’ requests to use the bathroom.  Many delivery workers, through services such as Seamless and UberEats, are paid on a per delivery basis, with no clear outlining of how much they might get paid.  Companies can do this through an exception surrounding “independent contractors.”  Delivery workers, like ride-app drivers such as Uber and Lyft, are considered “independent contractors,” allowing companies to avoid providing the same rights as they provide for regular employees.  Interestingly, while the pandemic restrictions were at their peak, and although considered essential workers, delivery workers were not afforded proper personal protective equipment (PPE).  One delivery worker and member of the Workers Justice Project said, “The city keeps saying we’re essential workers, and we want them to act like it and protect us.”  Via

Now, new bills are being introduced in New York to help these hardworking people.  The bills include requiring apps such as those already mentioned, and others, disclose how tips are dispersed, require them to pay an hourly wage, and grant delivery workers access to bathrooms at restaurants.  Los Deliveristas Unidos’s demands include: The right to access restrooms from restaurants; the right to a living wage and hazard pay; essential protections from e-bike robberies, wage theft and health and safety hazards; the right to use a physical public space to eat, rest and be protected from extreme weather; and the right to organize.

While it is unfortunate that it took a global pandemic and the conditions delivery workers live with to become even worse for the movement spearheaded by Los Deliveristas Unidos to gain traction, it is these very same issues that led to the creation of Los Deliveristas Unidos.  With the new delta variant of the COVID-19 virus leading to a recent spike in cases, it is as important as ever that these hard-working people are treated with respect, dignity, fairness, and compassion.  Change does not happen overnight, but every movement must start somewhere.

If you have questions about your rights as a delivery worker or your think that your employer has violated your rights in any way, we can help.  To discuss your situation or to speak to an attorney familiar with workplace rights, contact Borrelli & Associates, P.L.L.C. to schedule a free consultation through one of our websites,,, or any of our phone numbers: (516) 871-4267, (516) ABOGADO, or (212) 679-5000.


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