Alex Bastian / (415) 314-4848 / Alex.Bastian@sfgov.org
San Francisco — Today, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin announced the filing of a motion for preliminary injunction seeking to immediately stop DoorDash from continuing to break the law by classifying its delivery workers as independent contractors instead of employees. The motion is part of the District Attorney’s lawsuit filed in San Francisco Superior Court against DoorDash on June 16, 2020, which alleges DoorDash is violating California law by unlawfully classifying its delivery workforce as independent contractors, thereby stripping them of crucial workplace protections and worker safety-net benefits.
“We are seeking an immediate end to DoorDash’s illegal behavior of failing to provide delivery workers with basic workplace protections,” said San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin. “All three branches of California’s government have already made clear that these workers are employees under California law and entitled to these important safeguards. The failure to provide these workers basic protections puts them at risk, particularly during the COVID pandemic.”
Misclassifying workers has serious negative consequences: independent contractors have no statutory right to minimum wage, overtime, paid sick leave, reimbursement for business expenses, compensation for injuries sustained on the job, protection against discrimination, or access to disability or unemployment insurance. Misclassification also does tremendous harm to law-abiding businesses forced to compete on an unlevel playing field, and it harms the public welfare by robbing the state of taxes it uses to fund income support programs (such as unemployment insurance) while at the very same time forcing workers (and their families) to more often draw upon that social safety net. According to California’s Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, misclassification in California results in an approximate loss to the state of $7 billion per year in payroll tax revenue.
Today’s filing comes on the heels of a ruling by San Francisco Superior Court Judge Ethan P. Schulman. On August 10, 2020, he granted a motion for preliminary injunction requiring app-based, gig economy companies Uber and Lyft to classify their drivers as employees in a case brought by the California Attorney General along with the city attorneys of San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego.