New York City Council members passed a watershed slate of bills Thursday that will guarantee app-based food couriers bathroom access, minimum pay, distance limits, and more. The legislation, supported by Mayor Bill de Blasio, is the first of its kind in the country and the latest attempt to regulate multibillion-dollar companies like Grubhub, Uber Eats, and DoorDash. Corey Johnson, the City Council speaker, said the new laws would give workers the “rights they deserve” and that he was hopeful New York’s example might ignite a national movement.
The city is the largest and most competitive food delivery market in the nation, with more than 80,000 delivery workers—most of them immigrants—working under challenging, exploitative conditions. Many of them have reported being underpaid or not paid, being robbed or assaulted on their routes, and being forced to pay for their own medical care after sustaining injuries on the job. The push for the bills to pass was orchestrated by an organized, thousands-strong group of immigrant food delivery workers, Los Deliverista Unidos, after years spent fighting for courier protections.