KANSAS CITY, Mo. Every time Chase Peterson goes to pick up an order, he wonders if hes putting himself at risk of catching COVID-19.
Peterson is a delivery driver for DoorDash in Kansas City, Missouri.
Delivery drivers are considered essential workers who are still on the job while stay-at-home orders mean thousands of other people arent working or are working remotely.
Peterson believes he deserves extra pay for the risk hes taking. Its a concept called hazard pay. Peterson even created a petition online asking DoorDash to raise the base pay per delivery.
Every day, every order you just don't really know. And then I have to come home to my wife, so it's very concerning just daily," Peterson said.
Dashers get paid a base for each delivery plus tips. The base varies depending on several factors.
Peterson said that sliding scale is too inconsistent. He would like to see DoorDash increase the minimum base to $5 per delivery during the pandemic and afterward.
Its not much, but it's something, Peterson explained. It would feel good daily knowing I could come home with something.
A DoorDash spokesperson didnt directly address Petersons petition, but listed several steps the company is taking to protect Dashers during the pandemic.
The company ordered 5 million face masks and is distributing them with gloves, wipes and hand sanitizer to Dashers. Those Dashers have to pay $5 for shipping.
DoorDash also created a financial assistance program to give Dashers paid sick leave. To make it easier for Dashers to access a doctor should they think theyre getting sick, the company partnered with a telehealth organization to offer discounted virtual doctors visits.
DoorDash established contactless delivery as a default during the pandemic so Dashers dont have to come in contact with customers.
In addition, we are in constant contact with our Dasher community, reminding them of local and national mandates, as well as general CDC guidance, as the situation evolves, a spokesperson said in a statement.
The spokesperson said Dashers now get occupational accident insurance at no cost and are making about $5 more per active hour now than at this time last year. Peterson argues you have to be in the right time at the right place to reach that higher pay.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, no federal law requires private employers to offer hazard pay. Many unions, including SEIU in Missouri, have called on hospitals to pay nurses and other healthcare workers hazard pay.
In Overland Park, Kansas, city leaders have debated whether to give first responders hazard pay during the pandemic. So far, they have not approved the idea.
Grocery stores in the area are paying employees extra. Employees at Whole Foods are earning an extra $2 per hour. Hy-Vee is giving all employees a monthly bonus of 10 percent. And Price Chopper is doing a combination of pay increases and bonuses.
Our teammates are doing amazing work to keep the stores stocked and operating and were incredibly grateful for all they do, Casie Broker, Price Choppers chief marketing officer said in a statement.
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