Starting on July 12, 2023, all app-based delivery drivers in New York City will be guaranteed a minimum wage of $17.96 an hour before tips. In 2025, the minimum wage will rise to $19.96 an hour before tips, with adjustment for inflation.

While the minimum wage law for app delivery drivers was passed by the City Council 2021, it has taken two years for the wage to be set by regulation. The minimum wage, the first of its kind in the country, is the product of yearslong negotiations between City officials, delivery companies like Doordash and Uber, and the delivery drivers at the heart of it.

A study conducted by the city in 2022 found that the city’s 60,000 delivery workers make around $7 an hour before tips and $14 an hour after tips, well below the city’s $15 minimum wage. After accounting for expenses like gas, the study found that delivery workers were taking home around $11 an hour.

While the new increases are significant, critics argue that the new minimum wage is still too low; some early proposals for the minimum wage had gone as high as $24 an hour. New York City Comptroller Brad Lander asserted that the real wage workers will receive after deductions and taxes would only be around $13 per hour, still below the City’s minimum wage.

The new regulations will maintain some flexibility for app companies, who can opt to meet the minimum wage standard by paying drivers per delivery, per hour, or through a flat rate.

Note: Since this post was written, many delivery-app companies have sued regarding the law. On July 7, the New York State Supreme Court decided to delay the law’s effective date until after the companies have filed their formal arguments. The Court has not yet set a new effective date.