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Does Uber Eats pay overtime?

Uber Eats does not pay overtime. Uber Eats delivery drivers are independent contractors providing delivery services as a business and thus are not Uber employees.

Therefore, employee guarantees like minimum wage and overtime do not apply.

Infographic explaining why Uber Eats does not pay overtime highlighting that you are not an Uber Eats employee, payment is delivery by delivery and not hourly, and you are free to set your own hours.

Understand how payment works as an independent contractor

Unfortunately, Uber does not do a good job explaining that their couriers are independent contractors and what that means to their food delivery drivers.

All they do is put enough language in the contract to cover themselves.

The parties expressly agree that: (a) this Agreement is not an employment agreement, nor does it create an employment relationship, between Company and you; and (b) no joint venture, partnership, or agency relationship exists between Company and you.

Uber Eats Independent Contractor Agreement Section 13

The problem is that too many people rush into the signup process for Uber Eats with one thought: How much money will I make? For all they know, independent contractor is just another form of employment.

But you aren't an employee. The reality is, you're running a business. That's the legal definition of an independent contractor, and as an Uber Eats contractor you're taxed like a business.

Business owners don't get legal employment protections. If you open a store or a restaurant, you have no guarantee enough people will come through the doors for you to make a profit. That's the same relationship you agreed to.

There's no guarantee, no safety net, and no overtime.

Your payment from Uber Eats is on a delivery-by-delivery basis. Contractors are paid by the task or delivery. That includes one or all of the following components:

  • Your delivery pay from Uber (base pay and trip supplement)
  • Any customer tip that is given
  • Boosts, surges and other incentives that add to your pay for individual deliveries
  • Larger incentives such as quests that pay a bonus for completing a certain number of trips.

Uber Eats does not pay you for your time.

An old fashioned time clock with the Uber Eats logo across the bottom.

You are not paid hourly. There's no hourly rate or salary, which makes it impossible to calculate overtime pay.

You also have the freedom to deliver for other gig economy companies at any time. Uber even makes that clear in the contract. You'd have a difficult time expecting an hourly based payment if you are providing services for Doordash, Grubhub or some other competitor during that time.

Many independent contractors for Uber are what I call Accidental Business Owners. You never really planned to be a business owner, but here you are.

Should UberEats pay overtime?

The only time Uber Eats should pay overtime is if you are an employee. However, when you signed off on the independent contractor agreement, you agreed that you were not.

Whether Uber should be using independent contractors or not is a different question. I think there's a solid case to be made that Uber is trying to get drivers who think like employees, all for the independent contractor price.

Here's one thing to keep in mind. If they were to pay overtime as a traditional job, you can guarantee they would also limit your opportunties to deliver.

One of the most significant advantages of the gig economy is that you can work as much or as little as you want. You set your own schedule. You can deliver full-time if you want or just do this as just a side hustle for extra cash.

I believe your potential is far greater if you do this with a business mindset. If you take seriously this idea that you're running a business and treat it like a business, you take control of your circumstances. Uber Eats can't control or limit your earnings when you make your own decisions.

Does Uber Eats pay overtime? They do not. In my opinion, that's a good thing, because it means they are not our employers. It also means we can choose when, where, and how often to deliver for Uber or any other gig economy companies.

Employees who work overtime get extra money for their 41st hour of the week and beyond. As a business owner who can create your own strategies for making more with Uber Eats, you control your earnings for ALL your work hours.

Could this help someone else? Please share it.

About the Author

Ron Walter made the move from business manager at a non-profit to full time gig economy delivery in 2018 to take advantage of the flexibility of self-employment. He applied his thirty years experience managing and owning small businesses to treat his independent contractor role as the business it is.

Realizing his experience could help other drivers, he founded EntreCourier.com to encourage delivery drivers to be the boss of their own gig economy business.

Ron has been quoted in several national outlets including Business Insider, the New York Times, CNN and Market Watch.