That brings the tally of companies Liss-Riordan has brought complaints against to 11, which includes on-demand ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft, laundry service Washio, home services Homejoy and Handy, grocery delivery service Instacart, and on-demand delivery services Postmates and Shyp, in addition to DoorDash, GrubHub and Caviar.
According to the DoorDash and GrubHub complaints, the two companies misclassify their workers as independent contractors instead of employees.
Many startups in the on-demand economy, including heavyweights like Uber, rely on an independent contractor workforce to fuel their business, although that’s something Liss-Riordan would love to change. “[They’re] trying to use the excuse that there’s something new and different – the so-called “on demand economy” – and that they’re somehow licensed to ignore the wage laws”. “Drivers are required to follow requirements imposed on them by DoorDash regarding handling of the food and timeliness of the deliveries or risk termination”, reads the complaint. The Caviar case was filed in arbitration per the delivery driver’s contract.
GrubHub said it would not discuss pending litigation; DoorDash and Caviar did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The lawsuits against DoorDash and GrubHub are class action suits; all three, it seems, were filed in San Francisco.
Liss-Riordan said this practice isn’t uncommon. So far, only the case against Uber has been certified as a class action. She said they could potentially file similar suits against firms like Caviar.
“For all of these cases, we’re also representing drivers individually, including filing individual arbitrations where necessary”, Liss-Riordan said via email. On September 1, a judge granted Uber drivers class action status in Liss-Riordan’s suit. Those are the workers that Liss-Riordan’s suit alleges are misclassified.
“[Some] have denied it has anything to do with lawsuits, but you know the legal consideration must have been affecting them”.