Instacart will Compensate Workers for Stolen Tips

The tips you gave to the Instacart workers who brought groceries to your door probably did not go to them. Sometimes, it takes a class-action lawsuit to influence a company to do something it should have been doing in the first place. The result is that Instacart will stop stealing the tips that consumers give to Instacart workers.

NBC News reported that the complaint in the lawsuit alleges that Instacart “intentionally and maliciously misappropriated gratuities in order to pay plaintiff’s wages even though Instacart maintained that 100 percent of customer tips went directly to shoppers. Based on this representation, Instacart knew customers would believe their tips were being given to shoppers in addition to wages, not to supplement wages entirely”.

In a post on Medium, titled “State of Pay – Doing Right By Our Shoppers” Instacart provided information about what happened and the changes it will make. From the Medium post:

After launching our new earnings structure this past October, we noticed that there were small batches where shoppers weren’t earning enough for their time. To help with this, we instituted a $10 floor on earnings, inclusive of tips, for all batches. This meant that when an Instacart’s payment and the customer tip at checkout was below $10, Instacart supplemented the difference. While our intention was to increase guaranteed payment for small orders, we understand that the inclusion of tips as part of this guarantee was misguided. We apologize for taking this approach.

Instacart will retroactively compensate workers for when their tips were included in minimums. “For example, if a shopper was paid $6 by Instacart, to compensate for our mistake, he or she will receive an additional $4 from Instacart”.

In addition, Instacart is instituting a higher minimum floor payment on all batches. Today their minimum batch is $3. Depending on the region, the new minimum batch payment will increase to between $7 and $10 for full service batches and $5 for delivery only batches. “Any tips earned by shoppers will be separate and in addition to Instacart’s contribution.”