DoorDash Pa. benefits program praised by Gov. Josh Shapiro

DoorDash Pa. benefits program praised by Gov. Josh Shapiro

Food delivery app DoorDash is launching a pilot program that will help its gig workers pay for benefits in Pennsylvania, and it has Gov. Josh Shapiro’s support.

The company says the initiative is the first of its kind, and touts it as a way for workers to get both the flexibility of gig work and the stability of a traditional job through portable benefits, which are attached to the worker, not the employer. The six-month Pennsylvania pilot program will last from April through September.

“We believe that everyone deserves access, choice, and security when it comes to how they want to work,” said Tony Xu, DoorDash CEO and co-founder. “… Instead of settling for the way it has always been done, we can continue to try new things and expand the safety net in ways that provide both flexibility and security.”

Those who earn at least $1,000 on DoorDash from April to June, excluding tips, are eligible for the payouts.

The company will match 4% of participating delivery workers’ pre-tip earnings and deposit the money into a benefits account that can go toward retirement savings, paid time off, and health, dental, and vision insurance. DoorDash’s delivery workers, known as Dashers, can also contribute money to the account themselves.

Justice for App Workers, a group that advocates for gig workers, said that although this is “a step in the right direction,” the 4% pre-tip contributions amount to “pennies,” because tips make up a large portion of the what workers get paid.

“Justice for App Workers is fighting for fair wages, health care and mental health care, increased bathroom access, deactivations protections, safety, and the right to form a union,” the group said in a statement. “Anything less than that is a Band-Aid over the crisis delivery workers are facing.”

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Shapiro, a Democrat, is serving as a cheerleader for the program.

“DoorDash’s new pilot program for Pennsylvania Dashers is a positive step forward, as it can give Pennsylvania workers greater access to benefits,” Shapiro said. “My administration looks forward to seeing the results of this program, and we will continue working to protect and expand the rights of all workers in Pennsylvania.”

The contributions will come from DoorDash, and there are no public funds being used for the program, according to DoorDash spokesperson Eli Scheinholtz.

Dashers spend an average of less than four hours a week making deliveries, and most are supplementing other sources of income that provide benefits, according to the company.

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The program will not impact DoorDash prices in Pennsylvania, Scheinholtz said.

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