Class action lawsuits were filed against on-demand delivery companies DoorDash and GrubHub in California state court today. The lawsuits allege that DoorDash and GrubHub are misclassifying delivery drivers as independent contractors instead of direct employees.
The suits were filed in San Francisco by labor attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan. Liss-Riordan is also pursuing class action lawsuits over independent contractor classification against Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. On September 1, a judge granted Uber drivers class action status in Liss-Riordan's suit. The Uber suit is the furthest along in the legal process of all the sharing economy worker classification lawsuits.
“The facts of all of these cases are so similar,” Liss-Riordan said of her numerous lawsuits against “sharing economy” companies. “There are minor variations here and there, but really they’re all just copying each other and thinking they can get away with it.”
[jump] DoorDash is an on-demand food delivery service similar to Postmates. Based in Palo Alto, the company operates in the Bay Area and 13 other markets nationally. DoorDash promises deliveries within 45 minutes.
GrubHub is an online food ordering service that includes the brands Seamless, MenuPages, Allmenus, Restaurants on the Run, and DiningIn. GrubHub provides its own delivery drivers in some markets. Those are the workers that Liss-Riordan's suit alleges are misclassified.
In addition to the complaints against DoorDash and GrubHub, Liss-Riordan filed a demand for arbitration against Caviar, another on-demand delivery service, also regarding the classification of a single employee as an independent contractor. According to Liss-Riordan, her law firm is representing all of the complainants individually, as well as in the class action cases.
“We filed a class action against Caviar earlier in the year and since the court said drivers would need to pursue claims individually in arbitration, we are doing that,” Liss-Riordan said by email.
DoorDash did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A GrubHub spokesperson said that they cannot discuss pending litigation.