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Instacart will pay $5.25 million to settle a workers' benefit case

San Francisco accused the company of violating healthcare and paid sick leave ordinances.

Dado Ruvic / reuters

Instacart will pay workers $5.1 million as part of a settlement after it allegedly failed to provide some benefits, as The San Francisco Chronicle reports. San Francisco accused the company of violating healthcare and paid sick leave ordinances. The company, which has not admitted to wrongdoing, will pay an additional $150,000 to cover the city's legal costs and pay for a settlement administrator to distribute the funds.

“Instacart has always properly classified shoppers as independent contractors, giving them the ability to set their own schedule and earn on their own terms,” Instacart said in a statement. “We remain committed to continuing to serve customers across San Francisco while also protecting access to the flexible earnings opportunities Instacart shoppers consistently say they want.”

People who worked as independent contractors for Instacart in the city between February 2017 and December 2020 are eligible for payments based on how many hours they worked. San Francisco estimates that between 6,000 and 7,000 people are affected by the settlement. The city and Instacart previously reached a similar settlement that covered an earlier time period. San Francisco has settled a benefits-related case with DoorDash too.

After December 15th, 2020, Instacart workers were subject to Proposition 22, which afforded them some benefits without the company having to define them as employees. An Alameda County Superior Court judge ruled in 2021 that the measure was unconstitutional, but it remains in force while Instacart, DoorDash, Uber, Lyft and other gig companies who bankrolled Prop 22 appeal the decision. Another suit — filed by San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego — claims that Uber and Lyft drivers should have been classed as workers until Prop 22 passed.