The ugly truth about your takeout: NYC’s delivery workers are often exploited and underpaid

Many workers are starting to stand up to unscrupulous bosses in court.

News Story (New York)

Caroline Praderio
Business Insider
February 13, 2017

Tags: Wage Theft, Workers Rights

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Aid Society (New York City), Urban Justice Center (UJC) (New York City)


These delivery workers must traverse large swaths of the city, even in the most unforgiving conditions. Food orders surge during inclement weather . Delivery workers say they’re often forced to purchase and maintain their own bikes (even if they’re used exclusively for work). They work shifts as long as 12 hours. They frequently work for less than minimum wage with no overtime.

In some restaurants, complaining about pay or hours can get them fired.

Conditions are particularly bad for undocumented immigrants, who make up an estimated 10% of the city’s labor force (but the share is even higher in many restaurant-industry jobs.) Undocumented workers are protected by minimum wage and overtime laws, but in reality, they’re more likely to be the victims of wage theft and other abuses, according to reports from the Center for an Urban Future and the Brennan Center for Justice . Many are afraid to report mistreatment because of their immigration status — and bosses aren’t afraid to exploit that fear, either.