DoorDash updates its payment model, but workers still miss out on tips

Gig economy workers still don't get fair wages.

DoorDash aims to be a more ethical food delivery company -- it's already put a focus on sustainability and had delivered voter registration kits along with the standard faire of snacks, meals and beer. But the company has attracted criticism for its tipping system, in which delivery workers don't always receive the tips that customers give them.

Now, the company is updating its payment model in a way it says is more transparent for its delivery people, called Dashers.

The previous system worked by giving Dashers a "guaranteed minimum" amount they would make for a particular delivery, including tips. The idea is that the delivery person will make this amount, whether or not the customer tips. However, not all tips go on top of regular pay, as customers assume. The company has been accused of using tips to subsidize base pay.

Under the new payment system, workers will see a breakdown of how much of their pay comes from the company, and how much comes from tips. There will also be increased earnings for longer-distance deliveries and a system to make it easier for workers to see upcoming peak pay periods in which they can earn more.

This doesn't address the underlying issue though, which is that the base pay for deliveries is sometimes as low as $1. Fair wages organization Pay Up says that's not good enough: "They continue to subtract tips from worker pay," it said in a statement. "And they continue to mislead customers about where their tips are going. When a customer tips more, DoorDash pays less -- in other words, the customer is tipping the company."