A Washington, D.C., man is suing a delivery service saying he made less than minimum wage working as a courier. WBM lawyer Jason Rathod is representing Chito Peppler in the case against the service, Postmates, and seeking class action status for others who worked for that company.
Peppler worked for Postmates for about three months earlier this year, according to court documents, which say that allegedly low ratings (4.6 out of 5) led to his automatic dismissal.
The documents charge that the San Francisco-based Postmates, whose website says that delivery people can make up to $25 per hour, violated D.C. minimum wage laws, and overtime and reimbursement rules. The District’s minimum wage is $10.50 an hour, and the suit claims that Peppler worked less than that.
“He had to travel to the location, wait in line for 30 minutes, order, pay, pick up the food, and then travel to the customer,” the suit alleges. “The one job took an hour and [Peppler’s] fee plus tip amounted to less than the minimum wage. When expenses, such as travel costs, are factored in, the hourly wage was even less.”
The plaintiffs seek compensation for back wages and overtime, which could amount to $3 million.
Postmates treats delivery people as independent contractors, but they are, in reality, employees and the company should be subject to wage laws, said Rathod. “Without workers like Mr. Peppler, there is no Postmates,” Rathod told Washington City Paper. “They are fully economically integrated into the system. That’s a key fact of the employee-versus-independent-
Said co-counsel Nicholas Migliaccio: “Giving workers labels to deny them protections is an injustice worth fighting against.”
Peppler’s class action, similar to suits being filed throughout the country and involving companies such as Uber, Lyft and GrubHub, includes anyone who has worked for Postmates in Washington, D.C., during the relevant time period
If you, or anyone you know, has worked for Postmates, please contact Rathod at 202-640-1165.