Here’s What Gig Companies Say They’ll Do If You Get Arrested for Delivering Past Curfew

A video of a Caviar delivery person being arrested for violating curfew, as the man yelled that he is an essential worker, prompted a swift backlash on Thursday night. Even Mayor Bill DeBlasio, who has seemed ready to lick the boot of the cops kettling, beating, and harassing protestors, called out the arrest.

Afterward, Caviar told the Verge it was “prepared to provide support.” But what does that actually mean?

As Buzzfeed News reported, delivery workers for gig companies are deemed essential workers, able to operate past curfews imposed by local authorities, on a city by city basis. The apps are coordinating to figure out how to handle that in each case says Buzzfeed. But across the board—as I’ve written about many times before—gig companies don’t consider drivers to be employees, and that means they take little responsibility for protecting them.

So, I asked Grubhub, Doordash (which owns Caviar), and Uber what their policies are for those working past curfew. 

Doordash sent the template response about “support” that I mentioned above. On followup, I asked specifically: Are you offering hazard pay for delivering during curfew? Are you going to pay for legal fees if someone is detained? And, generally, what is the “support” that would be given?

“At this time, we’ve reached out to the individual to learn more about what transpired and what we can do to help,” a spokesperson said. “I will keep you updated as I learn more.”

Uber said the company had called the New York police and DeBlasio’s office “to ask that all police officers be reminded that delivering food has been deemed an essential service and that all Uber Eats delivery workers are exempt from the curfew.” It also said that the company would “offer legal support to Eats delivery people if they are wrongly arrested for violating the curfew while delivering on the app and aggressively petition City Hall and the NYPD on their behalf.” The company has a hotline for drivers to call and has been updating workers through the app they can use it to report problems. But, no mention of hazard pay.

Grubhub did not respond to a request to comment.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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