A proposed class action filed in California claims DoorDash’s tipping policy is deceptive to customers and deprives workers of the financial benefit of their tips.
DoorDash, Inc., the suit explains, provides a platform through which customers can order food from participating restaurants on the company’s app or website and have it delivered to their door by workers known as “Dashers.” According to the case, the defendant pays Dashers a guaranteed minimum amount for each delivery and allows customers to add tips to their orders. From the case, citing the defendants’ website:
“We guarantee Dashers will earn a minimum amount, including tips, for completing each delivery. This ‘guaranteed minimum’—which Dashers see before accepting any delivery—is based on the estimated time and effort required to complete that delivery.”
The case claims, however, that DoorDash has a policy of using customer tips to “subsidize guaranteed minimum payments that DoorDash owes its drivers.” For example, the complaint states that if a Dasher completes a delivery with a guaranteed minimum payment of seven dollars and receives a three-dollar tip, DoorDash would credit this tip toward the minimum payment, meaning the Dasher would receive exactly seven dollars while the company would only spend four. The lead plaintiffs in the case, who are both DoorDash customers, claim this practice robs Dashers of their hard-earned tips in favor of saving their employer money.
The case notes that the defendant fails to inform customers that tips will be used for the financial benefit of DoorDash instead of the Dasher who made the delivery. If customers were aware of this policy, the suit argues, they would be less likely to leave tips. The case claims DoorDash’s tipping practice “violates generally accepted ethical principles of business conduct” in that the defendant fails to clearly and honestly disclose its policy of using tips for its own financial benefit instead of adding the money to workers’ earnings.
The suit looks to represent a class of all customers of the defendant in the United States who placed an order and attempted to pay a tip through the DoorDash app, with proposed subclasses for customers in Illinois and Missouri.