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DoorDash will offer financial assistance to delivery workers diagnosed with COVID-19 or quarantined

Megan Rose Dickey

Food delivery startup DoorDash, which also runs operations for Caviar, has announced its plans to provide financial assistance to delivery workers who are diagnosed with COVID-19 or quarantined.

DoorDash workers in the U.S., Australia and Canada are eligible for up to two weeks of financial assistance if they get sick with COVID-19 or a public health agency places them under quarantine. The caveat is that workers must have been active on DoorDash for at least 60 days and have completed at least 30 deliveries in the last 30 days. The same goes for Caviar workers, who only operate in the U.S.

DoorDash says it is also shipping more than 1 million sets of hand sanitizer and gloves to its workers who are frequently interacting with customers. Additionally, the default method of delivery for DoorDash will now be no-contact, which means workers will leave the food at the customer's door by default. Customers can still opt in to having the workers hand it directly to them, but workers can still initiate a no-contact delivery if that's their preference.

DoorDash joins the likes of Uber, Instacart and Postmates, which have also taken some steps to help gig workers. Uber, for example, set up funds to support drivers who are infected or placed in quarantine by a public health authority. Instacart introduced a sick pay policy for in-store shoppers and extended pay for all shoppers, including independent contractors, who are affected by COVID-19. Similarly, Postmates has started offering two weeks of paid sick leave for people who test positive for the virus. These announcements come after gig workers have put pressure on companies and the government to ensure better protection for them during this pandemic.

Just yesterday, San Francisco announced a shelter-in-place order that legally requires people to stay home as much as possible unless it's essential that they leave to do things like going to the grocery store, buying gas or going to the pharmacy. Gig workers, however, are perceived as essential. That means workers for Postmates, Instacart, DoorDash, and Uber Eats are still on the hook for delivering food to people, and rideshare drivers transporting passengers are at risk of contracting the virus.

Gig Workers Rising is also pushing legislators in California to immediately enforce AB 5, which would ensure workers have access to good health care, paid sick leave, disability leave and more. It's worth noting that DoorDash is one of the companies that has spent millions of dollars to oppose AB 5. The ballot initiative put forth by DoorDash, Uber, Lyft and other gig companies is a direct response to the legalization of AB-5, the gig worker bill that will make it harder for the likes of Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and other gig economy companies to classify their workers as 1099 independent contractors.

Workers can find more info about DoorDash's announcement here.