Getir employees say fast delivery startup cuts workers’ pay


Fast delivery startup Getir has raised nearly $2 billion. But employees say the company missed pay and resorted to sketchy methods to get their income.

The reports come as Getir has also been named as a defendant in at least one lawsuit, in which former Getir employees claim the startup forced them to perform unpaid labor and failed to keep proper records of their hours. .

Employees told Insider in June that after it began operations in the United States last November, Getir used

cash app

Zelle, and handwritten checks to pay employees who packed and delivered grocery orders at its stores.

Six current and former Getir employees told Insider that the issues are much broader, suggesting that Getir’s practices have kept workers and even the government in the dark about workers’ pay. They requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak to the press or feared career repercussions, but their identities are known to Insider.

Langston Dugger, head of US operations at Getir, said in a statement provided to Insider that the company pays “the utmost attention to fully complying with all applicable laws and regulations.”

“It is always our intention to resolve any isolated complaints regarding wage or hour discrepancies as quickly as possible, whenever they come to our attention,” Dugger said in the statement. “We recognize the very human aspect of our business which can sometimes lead to human error, but we strive to treat all of our employees with the respect, dignity and compensation they deserve.

“Getir values ​​our employees, as evidenced by the fact that we fully employ all team members as hourly or salaried, W-2 employees who earn health benefits and keep 100% of their tips. »

Getir is one of several superfast delivery companies that have recently moved into the US, along with Gopuff, Gorillas, Jokr, Fridge No More and Buyk, although the latter three ceased operations in the US earlier this year.

In May, Getir, which is based in Turkey, laid off 14% of its global workforce, or about 4,480 people, citing “rising inflation and deteriorating macroeconomic outlook around the world”, said reported TechCrunch.

“Living Paycheck to Paycheck”

Getir’s problems paying its employees began when the company launched its US operations in Chicago.

In Getir stores, the company mainly relies on Cash App and Zelle to pay workers. It also used handwritten paper checks, but some employees said they had trouble cashing them.

Currency Exchange, a Chicago chain that provides check cashing services and is frequented by Getir employees, has stopped accepting checks from the company, said two former employees, one of whom tried to ‘cash a check. Currency Exchange did not respond to Insider’s requests for comment.

This is a major setback for many Getir employees. “They live paycheck to paycheck,” said one former employee, adding that many didn’t have a bank account to deposit a check into.

An unwelcome change in the measurement of hours worked

This spring, Getir changed the way it tracks people who pack and deliver its orders.

Previously, packers and couriers would come and go for their shifts, former employees said. Getir then switched to a different system: Employees use an app called MDU on a company-provided smartphone to mark themselves as “available” once they’re ready to start working on an order and “busy” when they’re ready to work. they do something else.

Three former employees told Insider that employees were paid for the time they spent fulfilling an order, but not for “busy” tasks, which could include picking an order once they get to work or repairing of a broken down bicycle in the street.

“You don’t pay them for the time they take to get ready,” said one of the employees.

Former employees also told Insider that MDU, unlike the previous system, does not allow employees to see how many hours they have worked. This means that Getir workers have to wait until payday to find out how many hours they are paid. “It’s tracked across the device, and it’s not something I can manually fix myself,” said a former employee.

Employees told Insider that when they see that Getir has paid them less than expected or hasn’t paid them for all hours worked, they can ask their managers to file a correction request.

A former manager who supervised workers at a Chicago store filed such requests weekly, but never received a response from management.

“It was literally a dead end,” said the former manager.

Federal and state laws protect the rights of workers to seek information about their wages

Under Illinois wage and hour laws, companies must log employees’ work time and clearly explain any deductions from wages, said Michael LeRoy, a professor at the School of Labor and Employment Relations and University of Illinois College of Law at Urbana-Champaign.

Employers must be able to provide these details to employees, he said.

Workers who believe their employers are not properly tracking them and not properly informing them of their pay can file complaints with the Illinois Department of Labor, which can determine whether to pursue enforcement action. No current or former employee Insider spoke to has filed complaints against Getir, and it is unclear whether other Getir employees have filed such complaints.

Although there is currently no evidence that Getir ever did this, in Illinois it is also a violation of state laws for employers to take revenge on workers for asking about their salary, said Richard Gonzalez, a professor at the Chicago-Kent College of Law.

“The idea is that you want to encourage these people to ask their employers questions without the company getting mad at them,” he said.

If enough workers find they have similar complaints against an employer, they could also file a class action lawsuit, LeRoy said.

Last week, three workers sued Getir in federal court in Brooklyn, claiming they were asked to work on their lunch breaks and paid for overtime. All were previously packers in Getir’s New York grocery stores, earning around $15 an hour.

They alleged that they constantly had to work outside their hours without being paid for it. That meant they were working enough unpaid time to drag their actual hourly wages below the $15 minimum required in New York, they said.

The workers also alleged that Getir failed to give them pay slips or properly record their working hours. Their suit brought suit under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, which governs overtime and minimum wage practices, as well as New York City laws. They have also sought to represent groups of other workers who have worked at Getir in recent years.

“Getir has not received a complaint in this matter and therefore has not had the opportunity to review the complaint,” a spokesperson for Getir said in a statement emailed to Insider. “We strive to ensure that all of our employees are paid appropriately based on federal and state wage and hour laws.”

“They didn’t declare any of my income”

Some workers laid off by Getir in May said they struggled to perceive unemployment.

Two former employees told Insider that when they tried to apply for unemployment benefits, state authorities told them over the phone that the unemployment office had no record of the workers’ employment at Getir.

“I decided to apply for unemployment benefits just to get out of the way and I can confirm that they have not reported any of my income to the government,” said a former employee.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security declined to comment on specific cases, saying “Unemployment Insurance information about claimants and employers is confidential and cannot be shared.”

Another former employee said Getir’s compensation issues suggested the company was focused on growth instead of tackling operational issues, including salaries.

Insider previously reported that Getir plans to open stores in new cities, such as Miami and Milwaukee, in 2022. Those plans are now on hold.

“I get it, you want to get down to business,” the former employee said. “But you also want to make sure the stores you already own are 100% working.”


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