Amazon is no longer cutting into drivers' tips to pay their base wages

Amazon packageMike Segar/Reuters

  • Amazon is no longer using customer tips to cover the base pay for Flex drivers, reports The Los Angeles Times.
  • The move comes after the newspaper reported in February that Amazon was taking tips and putting them toward driver base pay in some instances.
  • Delivery services Instacart and DoorDash have come under fire over similar practices in recent months.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Amazon is ending its practice of using Flex drivers' tips to cover a portion of their base pay, according to The Los Angeles Times.

As part of the change, Amazon will also give drivers more transparency about how drivers are being paid - including the amount they're being paid and how much of that pay comes from their tips. The update comes after The Los Angeles Times reported in February that Amazon would sometimes use tips given to drivers to cover part of their guaranteed base pay. Although drivers were guaranteed $18 to $25 per hour, Amazon on average only put $19 on average toward that hourly wage, the report says.

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Amazon did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment. But company spokesperson Rena Lunak said the following to the Times: "Amazon will always contribute at least $15 per scheduled hour to driver pay, and often more, based on location and demand. As always, for deliveries with tipping opportunities, drivers will receive 100% of the tips."

Amazon Flex is a program that allows on-demand drivers to make Amazon deliveries using their own vehicles. Flex drivers use an app to set their schedule, check their earnings, and navigate their delivery route. Amazon touts the program as a flexible gig where drivers can make their own schedule, similar to working as an Uber or Lyft driver.

Amazon isn't the only delivery company coming under fire for using tips to cover base pay. Instacart stopped using customer tips to contribute to the $10 per delivery minimum earlier this year after the policy resulted in backlash, BuzzFeed News reported in February. DoorDash, which also was criticized for using tips for base salaries, said on Thursday that 100% of tips will now go toward the driver. The move comes after DoorDash promised to revise its tipping policy last month.

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