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Return to Sender: Court Filings Reveal Postmates’ Hourly Wage Claims are Complete Fallacy

Postmates wage claims

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On-demand delivery service Postmates promises “up to $25 an hour” in its ‘help wanted’ ads, but recent court filings against the company show that the actual average wage for a Postmates courier averages just $9.23 an hour. 

The wage claims made by the company have been a major factor in its sudden rise from San Francisco startup to 40-market empire with a whopping $138 million of venture capital funding.  But its reputation may be based on an unattainable wage.

The same lawyer who is taking Uber and Lyft to court is responsible for the revelatory Postmastes court filing:

Postmates is currently defending itself in a class action lawsuit brought by Shannon Liss-Riordan (the same attorney who is challenging the independent contractor classification of workers for Uber, Lyft, and other on-demand companies). A series of documents filed by Postmates in late August reveal some of the inner workings of the company, including their own data on how much couriers work and earn. In a declaration by Kristin Schaefer, Postmates Vice President of Growth and Strategy, the VP reveals the average wage that Postmates pays out.

Postmates suggests that the $25 claims were based on projected 2015 figures, and attempted to deflect concerns using the federal minimum wage as a baseline:

Schaefer and Postmates’ attorneys note that $9.23 is well above the federal minimum wage (although the couriers are paid per delivery, not hourly, and are not subject to the minimum wage). That may be true, but $9.23 is well below San Francisco’s minimum wage of $12.25 per hour. It’s also well below the flashy promises of $25+/hour or $1000+/week that the company makes in all its job ads. $15.77 per hour below that, to be precise.


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