City Attorney David Chiu

San Francisco secures over $5 million settlement for Instacart workers

Agreement will benefit over 5,000 Instacart workers

SAN FRANCISCO (January 12, 2023) — City Attorney David Chiu and San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE) Director Patrick Mulligan announced today that the City secured a $5.25 million settlement from Instacart after an OLSE investigation into the company’s compliance with two San Francisco labor laws. The vast majority of the settlement, $5.1 million, will go directly to Instacart workers who provided services and made deliveries in San Francisco between 2017 and 2020, and $150,000 will cover settlement administration and OLSE’s enforcement costs.

City Attorney David Chiu
City Attorney David Chiu

“This is the City’s second major settlement directly benefiting delivery app workers in San Francisco,” said City Attorney David Chiu. “We hope this sends a strong message that the City aggressively investigates compliance with our labor laws and works hard to ensure workers are treated fairly. I am grateful to the OLSE staff and our attorneys who made this win possible.”

“This settlement represents years of hard work by our dedicated OLSE staff,” said OLSE Director Patrick Mulligan. “These Instacart workers made deliveries and performed this work even during the height of the pandemic, and now they will receive the benefits they are owed.

Our office will always stand up for workers and ensure our labor laws are enforced.”

About the Investigation

After widespread reports of app-based tech companies misclassifying workers, OLSE initiated an investigation into Instacart’s compliance with San Francisco’s Health Care Security Ordinance (HCSO) and Paid Sick Leave Ordinance (PSLO). The HCSO requires employers with 20 or more workers to spend a minimum amount on health care benefits per covered employee. The PSLO requires employers to provide sick leave to all employees in San Francisco. OLSE has the authority to enforce both the HCSO and PSLO.

Over 5,000 Instacart workers who made deliveries and provided services in San Francisco between 2017 and 2020 will directly benefit from the settlement between the parties. Many of the workers covered by the settlement are essential workers who were making deliveries in 2020 at the height of the pandemic. Within 45 days of the signed agreement, Instacart is required to engage a settlement administrator and send settlement funds to the administrator to be distributed to workers.

Today’s announcement represents the second largest settlement benefitting workers in OLSE’s twenty-year history. Following a similar investigation, OLSE secured a $5.325 million settlement for DoorDash workers in 2021.