NYC Bill Would Make Food Delivery Companies Cover Accident Costs

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A new bill proposed by council member, Mark Gjonaj, would make it mandatory for New York City food delivery services to reimburse their workers for any accident related costs that may occur while they are delivering food.

New York City Council member Mark Gjonaj has introduced a bill that would require food delivery services like DoorDash and Uber Eats to reimburse delivery workers for “certain costs” resulting from vehicle crashes as they delivery food. According to a New York Post report and the City Council’s website, require the companies to reimburse expenses relating to medical treatment and property damage, while imposing financial penalties on companies that don’t comply with the law.

As the Post notes, the law, should it pass, would make New York “the first city to require food delivery companies to require delivery workers” for such costs. It would not, however, require food delivery companies to provide their workers with commercial liability services, but “it would effectively force the companies” to do so. 

The bill, Int 2450-2021, is co-sponsored by Gjonaj and Francisco Moya, representatives of the Bronx and Queens, respectively. It was introduced on November 10, 2021 and referred to the Committee on Small Business. In a statement provided to the New York Post, Gjonaj said of the bill: “In the nation’s largest food delivery market, it is absolutely unacceptable that our food app drivers are not universally covered for accidents… We cannot expect our delivery workers—many of whom are low-income—to either pay for commercial coverage out-of-pocket or forego it entirely.”

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Mark Gjonaj proposed this bill in early November and states that food delivery companies will face fines for not abiding by these rules since many of the delivery drivers come from low-income families and deserve fair coverage and reimbursement if there are any incidents or accidents on the job.

As a summary of the bill on the City Council’s website describes, food delivery services who fail to comply—by putting reimbursement provisions in their contracts with delivery workers—would have to pay a civil penalty of $500 for each contract that doesn’t comply. Delivery workers, meanwhile, “would be entitled to $1,000 in statutory damages if they are a party to a noncompliant contract.” The legislation does not currently include any language requiring caps on reimbursements. Gjonaj told the Post that the reimbursement legislation “would also extend to people like pedestrians” hit by delivery workers. 

Two food delivery services, GrubHub and Uber Eats, did not provide the New York Post with any comment about the proposed legislation. DoorDash, meanwhile, said in a statement that its delivery workers are already provided with insurance coverage: “…We offer occupational accident insurance at no cost to Dashers with no-opt-in required, free and discounted road safety equipment,” the company said.

More information on the proposed legislation to require food delivery companies to reimburse workers’ medical treatment and property damage costs stemming from accidents on the job is available via the New York Post and the New York City Council. 

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