Gig Workers’ Safety in Focus as Delivery Apps Uber Eats and DoorDash See Surge in Business

As the demand for food delivery services increases amid the COVID-19 pandemic, delivery apps Uber Eats and DoorDash have seen a surge in business. However, this has also highlighted concerns about the safety of gig workers who are often left vulnerable to dangerous situations.

Gig workers are defined as independent contractors who perform on-demand services, such as food delivery, through online platforms. They do not receive employee benefits such as health insurance or workers’ compensation, and are often paid less than minimum wage.

While these apps have implemented safety measures such as contactless delivery and mandatory face mask policies, gig workers still face risks such as violence and harassment from customers, car accidents, and exposure to the virus.

In a recent survey of 4,000 gig workers conducted by the National Employment Law Project, more than half of the respondents reported that they did not have access to personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves and masks. Additionally, over 40% of respondents said that they have felt unsafe on the job, with 30% reporting that they have experienced harassment from customers.

The situation has prompted calls for better protections for gig workers, including paid sick leave and access to PPE. Some states have also implemented laws to address these issues, such as California’s Assembly Bill 5 which seeks to classify gig workers as employees rather than independent contractors.

However, some gig companies have pushed back against these laws, arguing that they would increase costs and reduce flexibility for workers.

As the gig economy continues to expand, it is crucial that the safety and well-being of rideshare workers are prioritized.


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