DoorDash agrees to landmark settlement over discriminatory hiring practices


New York Attorney General Letitia James announced a groundbreaking settlement today, marking a significant victory for fair employment practices in the state.

The settlement, reached with the online food delivery giant DoorDash, follows allegations of discriminatory hiring practices targeting individuals with criminal histories. The agreement underscores the importance of upholding state human rights laws and the New York City Fair Chance Act, which safeguard against discrimination based on prior convictions.

“The law is very clear on the rights that all New Yorkers, including those with criminal histories, have when it comes to pursuing job opportunities,” said Attorney General James. “DoorDash ignored New York laws, discriminated against hardworking people, and denied thousands of New Yorkers the opportunity to provide for their families without fair consideration for their individual histories. People deserve a second chance and the ability to earn a living and succeed.”

In a year-long investigation prompted by complaints received in December 2021, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) uncovered a troubling pattern within DoorDash’s hiring procedures. From January to December 2022, DoorDash rejected a staggering 2,898 applicants for delivery worker roles solely due to their criminal history. These rejections occurred without proper consideration of key factors such as the nature of prior convictions, the age of the applicant at the time of the offense, the duration since the offense, or evidence of rehabilitation.

The investigation further revealed instances of unjustified rejections, including cases where applicants with minor traffic violations applying for non-driving positions were turned away. Additionally, DoorDash failed to afford applicants the opportunity to explain their circumstances or efforts toward rehabilitation, contravening the principles outlined in the Fair Chance Act.

Under the terms of the settlement, DoorDash has committed to comprehensive reforms aimed at rectifying past injustices and preventing future discrimination. Key provisions include a thorough reassessment of hiring determinations for all rejected applicants with criminal histories, a revision of hiring policies to ensure fairness and individualized assessment, and the enhancement of applicant notifications regarding their rights under the Fair Chance Act.

Furthermore, DoorDash will pay a $75,000 penalty, which will be distributed among qualifying applicants who were unfairly rejected. The company has also pledged to develop a new training program, subject to approval by the OAG, to educate staff responsible for reviewing applications on updated hiring policies and fair assessment practices.

Importantly, DoorDash has committed to providing applicants with clear guidance on how to support their applications, including evidence of education, job training, rehabilitation efforts, and character references. This proactive approach aims to empower applicants and mitigate the risk of discrimination based on past convictions.

As part of ongoing oversight, DoorDash will provide regular reports to the OAG regarding its compliance with the updated hiring policies for a period of three years. Additionally, the company will prioritize the review of 57 applicants who had previously submitted appeals, ensuring prompt redress for those who were unjustly rejected.

“At DoorDash, we are committed to having a robust, fair and transparent background check process that balances safety and equity,” said DoorDash in a statement. “While we believe that our processes complied with New York law, we are pleased to have resolved this matter, and look forward to continuing to offer a flexible way for thousands of New Yorkers to earn.”