In a settlement with couriers, Postmates will pay some drivers differently depending on what state they're in

Melia RobinsonWe tried a Postmates delivery for ourselves
  • Postmates reached a settlement with thousands of current and former drivers after it classified them as independent contractors rather than employees.
  • Postmates will pay drivers differently in the settlement, depending on which state they’re in, due to the nuances of each jurisdiction’s labour laws.

Postmates and its couriers reached a settlement last year over an allegation that the food-delivery service incorrectly classified drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. But a letter to the couriers shows that each of their pieces of the pie depend largely on the location of their deliveries.

Postmates agreed to the $US8.75 million settlement against thousands of current and former drivers across the U.S after denying the allegation that the classification of its drivers broke laws or regulations. About $US2.8 million of the total fund will account for fees, and the rest will be allocated to those who submit claims in response to the letter.

In the terms of the settlement, a breakdown of the compensation shows that four states in particular would make the most per mile, with Massachusetts leading the pack, due to the nuances of each jurisdiction’s labour laws:

The Settlement Fund will be allocated to Class Members proportionally to their delivery miles while on delivery on the Postmates mobile application, with multipliers for miles driven in the following states, which are calibrated to account for the applicable laws and legal standards for similar claims in those states: California (2.0); Massachusetts (3.0); New York (1.5); D.C. (1.5).

The settlement is pending court approval, and the final dollar amount paid to each courier will depend on the number of claims submitted. Still, the letter estimates that drivers in California would receive approximately $US0.14 per mile, those in Massachusetts would receive approximately $US0.20 per mile, New York and D.C. drivers would get about $US0.10, while everyone else would receive about $US0.07 per mile.

Some have already taken to Twitter to express excitement for reaping the benefits:

That said, couriers outside of those four states are getting a little less on the mile:

In a statement from the company, a representative provided an explanation for the settlement decision (emphasis ours):

Postmates is committed to providing those who perform deliveries on the platform with flexible terms of service and an opportunity for fair and reasonable dispute resolution. We believe this proposed class action settlement does both.We also believe that by preserving the autonomy of our fleet — to control when, where, and how they access the Postmates platform — we enable efficient on-demand deliveries that boost local merchant sales and powers commerce across the country. Our platform has enabled members of our fleet to supplement their incomes by more than $US400M to date. Moreover, Postmates stimulates growth for local economies by linking our network of customers and couriers to the brick and mortar merchants in their own communities.”

The final settlement approval hearing will be on April 20, 2018.

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