DoorDash under fire for its controversial tipping policy

Is DoorDash paying its workers fairly?

The company has been under fire after a recent New York Times article detailed how tips given through DoorDash’s app are subtracted from the amount that the company pays, rather than added to what the worker receives.

DoorDash offers guaranteed minimums for its jobs, according to the article. Reporter Andy Newman wrote about working in the gig economy for six days as a delivery person for DoorDash and other companies. His first order had a guarantee of $6.85. The customer tipped $3 via the app, but Newman said he still received just $6.85.

“Because she tipped $3, DoorDash kicked in only $3.85,” Newman wrote. “She was saving DoorDash $3, not tipping me.”

The company explains the policy on its website, stating that it always pays workers at least $1 plus the customer tip, and the amount paid is never less than the guaranteed minimum.

“If $1 plus tip is more than the guaranteed minimum, the Dasher keeps that larger amount,” DoorDash’s website states.

A DoorDash spokesperson told FOX Business that the guaranteed minimum is based on the estimated time and effort required to complete a delivery.

More than 65 percent of the time, DoorDash contributes more than the customer, according to a company spokesperson. And about 15 percent of the time, customers leave $0 as the tip.

The company said its workers “value knowing the minimum they’ll earn up front” and that the system incentivizes workers to accept orders, helping them reach customers faster. DoorDash said it itemizes the amount it pays and its customers tip in the breakdown of orders given to workers.

But customers, apparently unaware that they weren’t helping the delivery people earn extra money with the tips they paid, criticized the policy as deceptive on Twitter.

Others advocated that those who use DoorDash pay tips in cash.

This wasn’t the first time that DoorDash has been criticized for the policy. It’s also not the only company to put tips toward workers’ base wages. According to Vox, grocery delivery app Instacart apologized and pledged to change its pay system after being criticized for the practice.

But at least one worker has said she made even less pay after the change, according to the report.